Plunket is urging people to keep an eye out for children as they head back to school this week.
As New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five, Plunket recognises many children will be venturing off to school for the first time.
Sue Campbell, Plunket’s National Child Safety Advisor, says for parents and caregivers the start of the school year can be an emotional and busy time. Parents will often have a lot of new experiences to work through with getting children to school, and caring for younger siblings.
“Every driver on the road needs to be that bit more aware that more children are about, as well as people with prams and strollers, slow down and drive more cautiously.
“Keeping children safe on and around the road is important as they make their way to and from school”, she says.
“Remember that no matter how short the journey, your child still needs to be restrained in a car seat or booster seat. Turning five isn’t a magical time to move out of a booster. Children are still way too small to fit the vehicle safety belt on its own. The change coming to make child restraints compulsory until children are seven reflects the importance of booster seat use way beyond five.
A booster seat provides the best protection for them by raising your child up to window level and improving the fit of the safety belt. .”
Plunket recommend that parents and caregivers seek expert assistance from a child restraint technician 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, height and weight, and one that is best suited to your car.
Child restraint technicians are available through Plunket’s car seat service, and at a number of other hire outlets or retailers. It is a totally free service.no