Published on 08 July 2024


The recent free child restraint checking event, a service provided by Lachlan Shire Council, discovered that 25% of the child restraints checked were incorrectly fitted.

The service provided free child restraint inspections at Central West Family Support Group by local Authorised Child Restraint Fitters. 

Four child restraints were brought in by parents for checking - two rearward/forward facing converter child restraints and two capsules.

Lachlan Shire Council's Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said this bi-annual event continues to be popular.

“The child restraint that was incorrectly fitted, we moved to the passenger side of the vehicle so that loading and unloading can happen on the footpath side of the car.

“The correct fitting and adjustment of child restraints is vital.  It is important to make sure that your precious cargo is safe and buckled up every time they are in the car - whether it's a five minute or five-hour journey," Ms Suitor said.

While this was a free bi-annual event, local Authorised Child Restraint Fitters can install and check child restraints all year-round for a small fee.  The local fitters in Parkes are Col Fletcher Ford & Kia and Parkes Tyrepower.  The local fitter in Forbes is Jelbart Dawson. 

Free child restraint checking days were held in Parkes and Forbes the same week as the Condobolin event.  Across the three shires, there were 29 child restraints checked, and 52% were incorrectly fitted. There were three installations and four follow-up checks with people who were unable to attend the checking days.

"The most common issue that we encountered was that the inbuilt harness shoulder straps needed to be adjusted.  Remember that as children grow, their restraint needs to change.  The harness shoulder straps should be above or inline for rearward facing seats and above or no more than 2.5cm below for forward facing seats.  If you can pinch the strap, your child’s harness is not tight enough," Ms Suitor said.

National child restraint laws have been in effect since 2010.  All children must be safely fastened into the correct child restraint for their age and size.  Children need to be at least 145cm or taller to use an adult lap sash seatbelt.

Research shows children who are not restrained correctly are seven times more likely to sustain life-threatening injuries in a crash than those who are properly secured.

Visit for more information about child restraint rules, types, FAQs and to view the rating results.  The ratings indicate the comparative safety a child restraint provided its occupant under certain test conditions, as well as how easily it can be used.

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