Are children being transported safely?
Education and care services are reminded to ensure safe vehicle travel for children. This follows research showing many children are not being protected with the most suitable safety restraints.
The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne recently found that two-thirds of children aged seven to 10 travel in an adult seatbelt when many should be in a booster seat.
What is not well known is that children less than 145 cm high are safest in a booster seat when travelling in a vehicle. On average children don’t reach 145 cm until age 11.
Nearly half of children aged between seven and 12 were also found to travel in the front seat of a car. However they are twice as likely to be injured in a crash if in the front seat.
Also more than half of children between six months and two years of age travel in a forward-facing seat too soon.
People and services who transport children need to consider this information.
It is essential that children are safe when travelling. Every reasonable precaution needs to be taken to protect them from harm or hazard likely to cause injury. This is stated in Section 167 of the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards Act) 2011 (SA).
For more information see the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne’s car seat safety report. The pink tab ‘For parents’ includes a five-step test to see if a child is big enough to use an adult seatbelt. The RAA website also has useful information.