Parents need to show restraint

A new penalty of $550 and four demerit points comes into effect from September 26 for drivers with unrestrained children in their cars.

Mrs Edwards, who owns a One Stop Baby Shop store, said children needed to be in the appropriate restraint for their age.

She urged drivers to read the car seat instructions.

‘Take the time to read these instructions carefully,’ she said.

‘Otherwise in an accident your child could go through the front window of a car.

‘Often car seats are fitted incorrectly or anchored to the incorrect point.

‘We’ve even seen people with children on pillows in cars or even a case of a seatbelt tied to a baby rocker.’

Since 2009, 13 children in WA have died in car accidents because they were not properly restrained.

More than 2200 drivers were also fined for having children in their vehicles without a seatbelt.

Another 97 were fined for not correctly fitting a child restraint.

Mrs Edwards said zero to four-year- olds required a seat internally harnessed to the vehicle’s anchor point.

For four to seven-year-olds, the seat only needs to be harnessed using a shoulder seat belt.

But depending on a child’s weight, she said they may need a car seat past the age of seven.

She said despite the law only requiring babies to remain in a rear-facing car seat until they were six months old, it was vital to keep them facing the rear until they were 12 months old.