Have you secured the kids?

An alarming number of children die in car crashes on Australian roads every year.

Researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) have urged drivers to check children are properly restrained in their vehicles, following a spate of tragic deaths across Australia.

Approximately 30 children die as passengers each year with car crashes remaining a leading cause of death and serious injury on Australian roads.

A 2010 study of child restraints found half of those installed had fitment errors, with many failing to buckle properly or having too much slack in the belt or sash.

The study showed that a properly-fitted child restraint ensured the force of an impact would hit the strongest parts of the body, i.e. bones, which are more likely to recover.

Improperly-fitted restraints were found to damage internal organs and the brain.

NeuRA Associate Professor Julie Brown said while most parents used the proper restraint for their children’s age, the number of errors in how child restraints were fitted or installed hadn’t improved since 2010.

“In our studies, we see a number of children seriously injured in a crash because they are ‘out of position’ and the seat belt or restraint is no longer providing good protection,” she said.

Professor Brown warned parents to keep an eye out for these common child restraint mistakes:

  • Incorrect fitment, primarily when the child seat or restraint is first installed or moved from one car to another.
  • Too much slack in the seatbelt or harness that may allow the child to move in the event of a crash.
  • Wriggly children who may cause errors in fitment when they take an arm out of restraint or fiddle with a sash.

How can RACQ help?

RACQ has a range of programs, articles and videos to ensure your child is safe when in a child restraint.

How to install a car seat.

Car seat Mistakes