KEEP KIDS SAFE IN CARS
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
New Zealand Police is committed to keeping all children
safe in and around cars. We are proud to be able to
support Plunket in working to protect and nurture all
children, all of the time.
Our record of improving road safety is one of which we
are justifiably proud but there is always more we can do.
We want to extend our efforts to rigorously improve child
safety in all areas but in particular, to reduce the risks to
children in and around vehicles at all times.
This booklet provides important support, information
and recommendations. It will help parents and caregivers
understand their responsibilities and provides practical
help and advice in ensuring all New Zealand children
are safe in cars. Please take the time to read it.
Car seats save lives!
Superintendent Paula Rose
National Manager
Road Policing New Zealand Police
2011
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
4
Each year in New Zealand many
children die or are seriously
injured in car crashes when not
buckled up in a child restraint.
Car seats save lives!
FACT. In a crash or sudden stop a child restraint
that is correctly used will give the best possible
protection to a child.
FACT. Holding a baby or child in your arms will
not protect them in a sudden stop or crash.
FACT. Most crashes happen close to home, yet
it is on these trips that many children aren’t
buckled into restraints.
Care for our children,
they are precious.
This booklet gives you information to help
make the right choices to best protect your
children in vehicles.
Tiakina a tatou tamariki,
mokopuna.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
1
Choosing the right restraint can
be confusing. Restraints vary so
you need to decide which one is
going to be best for your child.
Infant capsule
Convertible seat (Rear-facing and forward-facing)
Which restraint for my child?
The restraints shown above are some of the
types available.
Look for a restraint that suits your child’s
age, weight and height. Check in the instruction
manual or on labels on the seat.
Make sure the restraint fits in your vehicle.
The shape of the restraint and the shape of your
vehicle seat may mean some restraints will fit
better than others.
Then before you buy or hire the restraint
try your child in it. Make sure you are happy
with the features.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
2
Forward-facing/booster seat
Booster seat (with back)
You need a restraint that you are confident you
can install and use correctly for every trip. Try the
restraint in your vehicle. The back seat is safest.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
and check:
3the vehicle safety belt is long enough to
install the restraint;
3the restraint when installed sits firmly on
the vehicle seat.
Ask for advice from a child restraint
technician at Plunket, your rental scheme or your retailer.
3
Booster seat (without back)
To keep baby safe from their first
car ride, hire or buy a car seat
before baby is born.
A
Car restraints for babies
Pregnancy
An unborn baby needs protection too. Wearing
a safety belt protects both you and your baby.
Wear the lap part of the safety belt over your thighs and below your baby.
A
Wear the sash part of the safety belt over your shoulder, between your breasts and above your baby.
Infant capsule
If you choose to hire a restraint, Plunket,
community groups, and some retailers
have restraints available.
It is strongly recommended that baby stay
rear-facing until two years old or until they
outgrow their rear-facing restraint. Rear-facing
provides best protection in a crash.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
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C
B
Before you buy or hire the restraint ask
about the features of the different restraints.
Try several models in your vehicle, some
restraints will fit better than others. Read the
manufacturer’s instructions and install the
restraint correctly to make sure you get a tight fit.
Installing an infant capsule you must always
follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
B
WHERE? Back seat is safest. Never put a rear-facing car seat in the front if there is an airbag in the dash, baby is at risk of serious injury if the airbag inflates. Even if there is no airbag in the front baby is safer in the back.
HOW? The restraint for your baby always faces to the back of the vehicle. This means baby is looking towards the back window.
Make sure you have buckled the vehicle
safety belt tightly. Your restraint may come
5
1
See page 10 for more details.
2
See page 11 for more details.
D
with a locking clip 1 also LATCH or ISOFIX is an
alternative installation found on some restraints 2.
C
If the restraint has a tether strap for use when rear-facing tighten this once the vehicle safety belt is buckled 1.
D
Place baby in the restraint with the harness over baby’s shoulders, buckle the harness making sure it is ‘clicked’ tight.
The harness should be comfortable but firm
against baby. You should only be able to fit one
finger between baby and the harness. Place a
blanket over baby once the harness is on and
the buckle done up.
Your baby will have outgrown their infant capsule
when they are over the maximum weight
recommended and/or their head is almost at the
top. Baby’s feet over the end isn’t a reason to
move baby out of the seat.
Once baby is around two years
old or has outgrown their infant
capsule it is time to move to a
forward-facing restraint.
A
Restraints for young children
Ideally you will have used a restraint that allows
for rear-facing until your baby is two years old.
Before you buy or hire the restraint ask
about the features of the different restraints. Try
several models in your vehicle. Some restraints
will fit better in your vehicle than others. Read
the instructions and install the seat correctly to
make sure you get a tight fit.
Ask for advice from a child restraint
technician at Plunket, your rental
scheme or your retailer.
Installing the restraint you must follow the
manufacturer’s instructions.
WHERE? Back seat is safest. If there is an airbag
in the dash place the car seat in the back. Even
if there is no airbag in the front your child is safer
in the back.
HOW? Place the restraint on the vehicle seat.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
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C
B
Put the vehicle safety belt through the restraint.
A
Placing your weight in the seat will help get
a tight fit.
B
Buckle the vehicle safety belt tightly. Your child restraint may have come with a
locking clip 1.
If the restraint has a tether strap tighten this once
the vehicle safety belt is buckled 1.
LATCH or ISOFIX is an alternative installation found on some restraints 2.
C
7
HOW? Place your child in the restraint with the shoulder harness coming through level
with or slightly above the child’s shoulders. Buckle the harness making sure it is
‘clicked’ tight.
1
See page 10 for more details.
2
See page 11 for more details.
Tighten the harness so it is comfortable but
firm against your child. You should only be able
to fit one finger between your child and
the harness.
To keep your child safe, use this restraint until
your child outgrows it.
Your child has outgrown their restraint
when any one of the following occurs:
•
•
•
they are over the maximum weight recommended;
their eye level is higher than the back of the restraint;
the shoulder harness is in the top slots and having to come up and over the shoulders more than 25mm.
Use a booster seat once your
child has outgrown their child
restraint.
A
Car safety for older children
Booster Seats
Booster seats can be full booster seats with a
back, or a half booster seat with no back. Some
forward-facing child restraints also convert to a
booster seat by removing the harness system in
the restraint.
A booster seat lifts a child up so the vehicle
safety belt is positioned correctly against them.
A
Always use a booster seat with a lap/sash safety belt, never with a lap belt on its own,
as there is nothing holding the child’s upper body back in a sudden stop or crash.
The diagonal portion of the safety belt goes
over the shoulder, not against the neck. The lap
portion of the safety belt sits low touching the
thighs. The booster seat should allow the safety
belt to sit snugly against your child.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
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B
B
C
The back seat of the vehicle is the safest place for a booster seat
How long should my child stay in a
booster seat? Until their eye level is above
the back of the booster seat, vehicle seat or
headrest or…
They are tall enough to sit on the
vehicle seat correctly:
3right back without slouching;
3with the lap belt remaining low touching the top of the thighs;
3sash belt across the shoulder, not the neck;
3they can stay seated correctly positioned for the whole trip.
Many children will be around 148cm tall before
they can move from their booster seat.
9
The Child Safety Harness
A child safety harness is a restraint that can
be useful to restrain a child safely. It anchors
into the vehicle like the tether on a child
restraint and uses the vehicle safety belt.
C
A child safety harness can be used in combination with a booster seat or on
its own with the child sitting on the
vehicle seat.
Tether straps connect the restraint
to an anchor in the vehicle. The
locking clip is a bracket that holds
the vehicle safety belt tightly.
A
B
Tether straps and locking clips
A
If a restraint has a tether strap always follow
the manufacturer’s instructions.
What does a tether strap do? A tether strap
prevents forward and some sideways movement
of the restraint in a sudden stop or crash. The
less movement of the restraint the less
movement of the baby or child.
B
Has my vehicle got tether anchor points? Check the vehicle manual, it will show where anchor points are located. Some vehicles have anchors already fitted. A garage or vehicle dealership can help you.
Installing tether anchors
Follow instructions in the vehicle manual and
follow the restraint manual instructions. Ask
a garage or vehicle dealership for help with
installation if you are at all unsure.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
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C
E
D
Using a tether strap. Once the safety belt is through the restraint attach the tether strap to the anchor.
safety belt system your vehicle has. Some vehicle
safety belt systems hold the restraint firmly without
a locking clip.
Tighten the tether (firmly but not too tight) once
the vehicle safety belt is tightened through the
restraint. Tether extensions and extra tether
anchors can be purchased from retailers and
some car seat hire outlets.
Positioning a locking clip. The restraint manual
will demonstrate the position for the locking clip.
What is a locking clip? A locking clip (H-clip)
is a metal or plastic bracket that holds the vehicle
safety belt tightly through the restraint and helps
prevent it moving around. Locking clips are
supplied with some restraints.
LATCH or ISOFIX
C
Do I need to use a locking clip? Read the
restraint manual to see the type of safety belt
systems it suggests using a locking clip with.
Read the vehicle manual to check the type of
11
Close to the safety belt latch plate is the
usual position for the locking clip.
D
E
LATCH or ISOFIX is an alternative installation found on some restraints.
LATCH or ISOFIX points are required on both the
vehicle and the child restraint. Check both your
vehicle manual and restraint manual to see if
you can install this way. A restraint that has LATCH
or ISOFIX can still be installed in the conventional
way using the vehicle safety belt.
If purchasing a second-hand car
restraint there are important
questions that you need to ask.
Second-hand restraints
Old seats may not provide the best protection
for your child in a crash or sudden stop. It is
strongly recommended that if possible you
avoid purchasing a second-hand restraint.
Before purchasing a second-hand
restraint ask if the seat has ever been in a
crash, even a minor one. If so, don’t buy it.
Check:
3the seat isn’t too old – between 6 to 10 years is the maximum life for most seats;
3the seat has an instruction manual; 3the harness has no fraying, fading, or appears stretched;
3the plastic shell has no cracks;
3the buckle and harness adjustor work well.
Ask for advice from a child restraint
technician at Plunket, your rental
scheme or your retailer.
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
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New Zealand law requires that all
children under 5 years of age are
properly restrained in an approved
child restraint appropriate for their
age and weight.
The law in New Zealand
Children over 5 but under 8 years of age must be in an
approved child restraint if there is one available. If no
restraint is available they must use the adult safety belt.
Children over 8 but under 15 years of age must use a
safety belt if one is available, otherwise travel in the
rear seat.
Exempt from this legislation are:
• vintage cars (pre 1955) with no safety belts;
• Passenger Service Vehicles including taxis and shuttles;
• trucks with unloaded weight exceeding 2000kg.
Penalty for non-compliance with the law is a
$150 fine for each unrestrained child in a vehicle.
Driver responsibility. It is the driver’s responsibility
to ensure each child under 15 years of age is correctly
restrained.
Child restraint standards. All child restraints sold
in New Zealand must meet an approved standard.
Approved standards are:
• Australia/NZ Standard AS/NZS 1754, shown with 5 ticks;
• European Standard (ECE 44) with an ‘E’ mark;
• United States Standard FMVSS 213 which must also
carry the ‘S’ mark to show it has been certified for use
in NZ;
• technical standard for child restraints (Japan). This
applies to in-built child restraints in Japanese vehicles.
Plunket
Look under ‘Plunket’ in the phone book
for a rental scheme near you or check
the website www.plunket.org.nz
or email child restraint queries to
comms@plunket.org.nz
Where to go for help
NZ Transport Agency (NZTA)
For general child restraint information go to
www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/students-parents
/child-restraints.html or
email accessrestraints@nzta.govt.nz or
Phone 0800 822 422
Ministry of Transport
For child restraint statistics go to
www.transport.govt.nz
Safekids NZ
For information about child restraints go to
www.safekids.org.nz
Whakamaua te whiitiki – Buckle them in!
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