Are your kids safe in the car?
Here is a Checklist by Australian-based Rear-Facing Revolution
- Rear-facing car-seat for as long as possible, the safest way to travel, a protective cocoon for newborn to older toddler. (Harness straps on or ABOVE the shoulders, never below)
- Forward-facing car-seat with in-built harness for as long as possible to protect young growing children. (Harness straps over the shoulders, can be up to 2.5cm above OR below)
- Booster seat with shoulder/lap belt for as long as possible to ensure seatbelt fits correctly for older kids. (Shoulder belt over the shoulder, not the neck, lap belt low on the lap, never on the tummy, use the seatbelt guides)
- Back seat of the car for as long as possible. Air-bags are dangerous for children in the front seat.
- Harness straps straight and snug, over the shoulders, not loose, not twisted. This is your child’s safety net in a crash.
- No bulky clothing in car-seats. No blankets or wraps under the harness straps. This makes straps too loose & unsafe.
- Do not use a lap only belt to restrain a child. They provide no upper body protection in a crash.
- Never wear a seatbelt under the arm or behind the back.
- Car-seat installed correctly, seatbelt buckled, tether strap attached, car-seat not loose. Read the instruction manual. Adjust the seat as the child grows. New seats have height markers. Old seats have weight limits. Car-seats must meet Australian Standards. (AS/NZS 1754). Red Five Tick Sticker.
- Car-seats should be less than 10 years old from manufacture date. Car-seats wear out over the years. Their safety is reduced and they should be destroyed and replaced. Don’t buy second-hand from unknown sellers.
- Do not use car-seats that have been involved in a crash. They are no longer safe and must be destroyed.
- H-Harnesses are no longer recommended due to mis-use. Full boosters offer greater protection than cushion boosters.
- Secure all loose items in the car which could cause injuries in a crash. An un-cluttered car is a safer car. Restrain pets.
- Never leave children alone in a car. Children can die or become ill quickly when left in hot cars on any type of day.
- Do not smoke with children in the car. Protect kids’ health.
- Children are safest staying in each stage of car-seat for as long as possible, using a seat that fits them correctly, is installed correctly, and is used correctly on every trip. For more info: http://www.rearfacingdownunder.com
Source of the Checklist: Child Restraint Safety Checklist