Holden has today announced 'Buckle Up Kids', a child restraint checking program that will be run for free at child care c entres, kindergartens, primary schools and Holden dealerships in Victoria.
In July last year, new national laws were enacted requiring that children from six months to four years-old be secured in a child safety seat, in the rear of the vehicle only.
Children aged four to seven must be seated securely in a forward-facing booster seat or approved child restraint, and may only be seated in the front if all other passenger seating is occupied by children under seven.
Despite a largely positive response to the new laws, researchers at the University of New South Wales have found that a majority of restraints are either installed incorrectly, or are the wrong size.
Surveying 203 families with children up to five years old, the research showed that 64 percent of children were not correctly restrained.
Holden's 'Buckle Up Kids' service is available to owners of all vehicles, Holden-badged or otherwise. The service will have a professional fitter on hand to give parents easy-to-follow instructions.
“To be fully effective, a child restraint has to be properly fitted. Buckle Up Kids gives practical support and advice to Victorian families so they feel comfortable that the child seat they have bought is also properly installed," Holden Vehicle Structure and Safety Integration Manager, Steve Curtis said.
“In addition to parents, we’re also encouraging grandparents and other carers of children to check that they know how a restraint should be fitted in their own vehicles as we know many families share restraints between cars. Each time a seat is moved, it must be properly reinstalled in the vehicle.”
Forthcoming events include:
- Beaconsfield Children's Hub Panorama Estate - 5th Feb
- Northland Kinder Haven - 10th March
- Knight Street Pre School - 28th March
- Early Learning Centre Bacchus Marsh -31st March
- Highpoint Kinder Haven-17th May
RACV has also set up a network of Restraint Fitting Stations in partnership with VicRoads, to help with installation of child restraints. For a small charge, a trained installer can fit your restraint or check it to ensure it is installed correctly. A list of stations can be found at the RACV website (click).