Thursday, 17 October 2013

7 or 148cm?

7 OR 147? This is quite a common question at the moment on many peoples lips...not sure what I'm talking about?  Read on!

As you've most likely heard on November 1st the new law for restraints in NZ comes into place.  This means that you will legally be required to keep your child in an appropriate restraint until their 7th birthday. However the big question coming from many is  "is this enough"? 

Personally, I would have loved to see the law extended, but i'm also thankful for this small change that has brought some positive awareness to car seat safety - and although it's just a small step, I think we can safely say that even small steps save lives. It's important to note also that it's very clear to me that some groups and individuals have worked pretty hard over the years to pass this law - so hats off to them and thank you!!

But still the bigger picture is that research both locally and internationally shows that children are much safer in a restraint until they are 148cm-  and by NZ statistics this is 90% of kiwi kids aged between 6-8. 50% of all 9-10 year olds and 10% off all 11-12 year olds ( - see image below).  'WOWSA' I hear you say - but as Sue Campbell from Plunket was quoted as saying “The simple truth is that car seats and boosters seats save lives." 

So how do you know if your child still needs to use a booster? Here's 5-step booster seat test

Your child does not require a booster seat if you can answer YES to ALL of the following questions:

  1. Do they sit all the way back in the vehicle seat?
  2. Do their knees bend at the edge of the vehicle seat?
  3. Does the adult safety belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  5. Can they stay seated like this for the whole trip? 
MOST IMPORTANTLY - if your child still fits your restraint - then why wouldn't you use it? Jokes along the lines of 'Doesn't that mean I should be in a seat?' and 'Well I never had a seat and I'm fine', just really ain't that funny when the safety of children are involved! A short 30 year old doesn't require a  restraint simply because they are under 148cm as they have the skeleton of a 30 year old, not the skeleton of a prepubescent child.  So lets all celebrate and continue to spread the word about restraining till 7 - lets just not forget the bigger picture, that the longer you use the restraint, the safer your child is, because “The simple truth is that car seats and boosters seats save lives." 



1 comment:

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