It was vital for all parents and grandparents to be aware of the correct use of child restraint in cars in the wake of a new study which found 80% of parents use the wrong form of child restraint, Kidsafe today said.

Dr Mark Stokes the National President of Kidsafe said new laws have come into effect in a number of states including Victoria making it mandatory for all children up to the age of seven to be fastened in a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car.

Dr Stokes said using the wrong seat or strapping a child in the wrong way can greatly increase the risk of injury in a crash.

Another major issue is that many booster seats and restraints are not professionally fitted. 

About 70 to 80 children a year die in car accidents.

Parents need to be educated in choosing the right restraint for their size and how to use the restraint correctly.

  • Children aged 2-5 years wearing an adult seatbelt are 3.5 times more likely to suffer a significant injury
  • Children aged 4-7 years using booster seats have a 59% reduction in risk of injury compared with adult seatbelts.
  • Children under 16 years are at 40% greater risk of injury when travelling in the front seat.

Kidsafe  Fact Sheet On New Laws  ( Cut and Paste Direct Link for PDF )