Why Community Restraint Checking days are important

As parents, we sometimes forget how quickly our children grow, and mastering fitting a car seat is one of those things that is important.

It’s great to see local community, and councils, supporting programs to give parents peace of mind that their car seats are installed and being used correctly. Our experience is that these events are well received by parents, who are keen to understand if they are doing the right thing.

Our feedback from parents is that more events are needed to help them understand how they are tracking. At busy events they happily wait for their turn to have their seats checked and adjusted, if required. Also we like to see grandparents who transport little ones as well.

We always recommend for you to use a qualified Restraint Fitter to not only fit your car seat but show you how to maintain it… but that is the first step in a long journey of changes …

As our kids have growth spurts we should be checking and maintaining their child restraint. These events are great to come and help you understand where you are in your journey and make sure you are on the right track.

The common problem area that we get presented with are pretty consistent at our events. Here are our Top 10:

  1. Harness shoulder height at the wrong position, usually too low causing shoulder looping and kids being uncomfortable, or escaping.
  2. Children being moved to forward facing too soon and definitely under the required height markers on the child restraints to go forward facing. This is a dangerous impact as the child is not ready from a height perspective to go forward facing.
  3. Children that are not 4 and have not met the height requirements to go into a booster.
  4. Children over 7 that have not met the criteria to move out of a booster.
  5. Top tethers not being used correctly and in most cases over-tightened so the child restraint lifts and compounds other issues.
  6. Condition of child restraints, a lot over 10 years old, and in very poor condition – inserts missing and not working properly.
  7. Children restraints actually not connected at all – caused by others getting into the car and unintentionally unclipping car restraints.
  8. Child restraints locked in by the front passenger seat, always leave a gap between the car seat and front passenger seat.
  9. Too much movement, we are after a firm fitting – we see a lot of movement in child restraints, this will happen with just general use. Parents need to learn how to adjust the tension to be firm and keep checking.
  10. Then we just see installations that just baffle us.

At no point do we believe that parents don’t care, the fact that they present themselves to these events is evidence that they do care, and they want to know. We love teaching parents and carers about car seats, as we truly believe that we are reducing injuries and potentially saving lives in a crash … Learn to love your car seat.

How can you help?

If you belong to a community group and would like to hold one of these events then let’s get together and save lives!

Moonee Valley Council offer this program each year in March, this event was so popular !
212 cars were inspected and corrected with the above issues.

Great turn-out at National Playgroups Day, thanks for having us!
We managed to check so many seats and talk to lots of parents about car seat safety.

Supported by Vicroads and Hume City Council

Words by Hire for Baby

Book a Community Restraint Fitting Days: