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June 2024

Child Safety Tips

Ensuring the safety of our youngest passengers is of paramount importance when it comes to travelling in vehicles.

Understanding the proper use of child car seats is crucial for protecting infants and toddlers during transit. 

In this guide, we're going to talk about some important tips on how to use car seats the right way, why it's good to keep your child facing backward and why booster seats matter. So, let's get into it, making sure every ride is safe for your precious passengers.

Rear-facing car seats for longer safety

It's safest for all infants and toddlers to use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. 

  • Position in the back: Rear-facing seats should be placed in the back seat of the car, allowing your baby to face the rear window.
  • Increased safety: Children are safer in rear-facing seats because their underdeveloped spine, neck, head, and pelvis make them more susceptible to head and spinal injuries.
  • Crash protection: In most crashes, the car seat shell supports and cushions the baby's body, and keeps their spine straight.

Full booster seats for better protection

A full booster seat provides better protection compared to a booster cushion.

  • Back seat safety: Install the booster seat in the back seat, as it is still the safest place for your child during travel.
  • Correct seat belt placement: Ensure the sash part of the seat belt goes over the child's shoulder. Booster seats with a headrest have a guide to help position the belt away from the neck.
  • Follow the manufacturer's Instructions: Always refer to the manufacturer's instruction booklet for proper use of car seats to ensure optimal safety.
  • Use booster seats until your child is ready: Keep a child in a booster seat until they are 148cm tall and pass the five-step test, ensuring proper seat belt placement for their safety.

    1. Their back rests against the seat.
    2. Legs comfortably bend over the seat edge.
    3. Shoulder belt crosses over their shoulder, not their neck.
    4. Lap part of the seat belt sits low on the thighs, not around the stomach.
    5. The child can stay seated like this for the entire trip.

The front seat should not be used for small children due to airbag restraint systems.

For more information and helpful videos, visit the Waka Kotahi website >>

You can find out about car seat installation - seat belts and latch on healthychildren.org >>

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