Accurate communication is and always has been the key factor in dealing with the correct use of child restraints. Complying with the instructions supplied with these products often doesn’t satisfy a parents’ perception and or their safety concerns. Sterile test conditions executed by highly skilled engineers are not a true reflection of the real child restraint environment and its daily use. Parenting and child care communities need real help at all stages and not just for infants and young children which is a common belief.
In recent years the child restraint environment has become much more challenging. There have been many changes, with products, road rules and guidelines, but all of the basic safety principles haven’t changed at all. To protect every passenger travelling on our roads requires the same understanding today that it did twenty five years ago. However, as each year passes we gain more challenges with incorrect child restraint use, not less.
Throughout recent years our communities have been exposed to even more confusing factors promoted through a variety of sources. Modern methods of communications, such as Facebook and Twitter, have also given any interested individuals a voice to large audiences with little accountability of the advice they offer. Some individuals and interest groups are promoting good ideas, but many do not. With so many sources influencing child restraint understanding, how can the general consumer discern the difference between quality and misleading information?
Our advice for all parents and service providers is simple.
1) Focus on the safe travel principles first. (See our FAQ’s on ‘Safe travel principles’)
2) Choose a restraint product that’s easy to use when applying the practical application of those safe travel principles.
3) Also consider what your vehicle will allow or contribute to the ease and correct use of the restraint you choose. Purchase your restraint product from retailers who have some knowledge in this respect.
Those three simple messages can help everyone, everyday.
We hope that if you can follow these simple steps you’ll not become a victim of general advice when your particular environment is specific. The likely variations are infinite, influenced by factors such as: Your child or mix of children, your family needs, your vehicle including all of its inherent limitations, your specific restraint products and your ability to cope with the practical requirements demanded by some restraint products.