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Plunket is urging people to have their child car restraints checked before the busy Christmas holiday season.
Sue Campbell, Plunket’s National Child Safety Advisor says the tragic accident in South Auckland last week, in which a two-week old baby boy was critically injured when his car seat became loose, is a stark reminder of the importance of correct installation.
“For a car seat to perform correctly in an accident it needs to be installed correctly.
“The Christmas holiday period can be a busy and stressful time for parents and caregivers so now is a good time to check your child’s car seat - before we get into the silly season.
“We recommend that parents and caregivers seek expert assistance from a child restraint technician for a free check to ensure that your child's car seat fits your vehicle and is installed correctly. They can also advise about the best car seat for your child’s age and weight, and one that is best suited to your car.
“Child restraint technicians are available through Plunket car seat rental schemes, and at a number of other hire outlets or retailers. It is a totally free service.”
Sue says that Plunket recognises that the cost of child restraints is beyond the means of some families but says that assistance is available.
“Plunket has a Car Seat Rental Scheme which exists to help families get access to child car restraints. Our priority is keeping children safe so we’re flexible on payment methods but hireage is generally less than the cost of a takeaway coffee a week. Some families may also qualify for a special grant from Work and Income to buy or hire a child restraint.”
For information on a car seat rental scheme near you visit www.plunket.org.nz