The recent free child restraint checking event, a service provided by Parkes Shire Council, discovered that all of the child restraints checked were incorrectly fitted.

The service provided free child restraint inspections in the Lions Park carpark by local Authorised Child Restraint Fitters.

Nine child restraints were brought in by parents and grandparents for checking, with one full installation.

Parkes Shire Council's Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said this annual event continues to be extremely popular.

“Most of the child restraints that were checked had minor problems that needed fixing to ensure the safety of the child," Ms Suitor said.

The most common mistakes were;

  • a gated buckle was needed
  • shoulder straps needed adjustment
  • the seatbelt path was wrong
  • there wasn't a large enough gap between the back of the front seat and the child restraint
  • capsule tether straps were used incorrectly and
  • a seatbelt was being used unnecessarily along with ISOFIX.

“The correct fitting and adjustment of child restraints is vital.  It is important to make sure that your precious cargo is safe and buckled up every time they are in the car - whether it's a five minute or five hour journey," Ms Suitor said.

While this is an annual event, local Authorised Child Restraint Fitters can install and check child restraints every day for a small fee.  Local fitters in Parkes include Col Fletcher Ford & Kia and Parkes Tyrepower.  The local fitter in Forbes is Jelbart Dawson.

National child restraints laws have been in effect in New South Wales since 2010.  Children are required to be seated in an approved child restraint, appropriate for their size, until they are seven years of age.

Research shows that a child that is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a crash than one who is not.

Visit www.childcarseats.com.au for more information about child restraint rules, types, FAQs and to view the rating results.  The ratings indicate the comparative safety a child restraint provided its occupant under certain test conditions, as well as how easily it can be used.