Parents show restraint with car seats

PARENTS across Tasmania are putting their children's safety at risk by using ropes, dog clips and gaffer tape to hold in car seats.

A week-long car inspection by RACT of child restraints last week found that of 181 restraints, 129 required adjusting.

More than 40 were deemed unsafe and 29 were out of date.

RACT motoring centre manager Peter Gillon said the results were horrendous.

``We should be ashamed of ourselves,'' he said.

``We carry on about road safety, yet we're letting our children travel around unsafe.

``The worst I saw was a parent turn up with a three and a four-year-old who didn't think it was necessary to have child restraints at all.''

By law, children are required to be in a restraint _ either a seat or booster _ until they are seven.

RACT customer service officer Julia Genge said they must be at least four before they use a booster, and some small children needed to remain in it until they were older than seven.

``It's adjusting the child to the seat belt so it doesn't cut into their necks,'' she said.

Mr Gillon said seats had to be replaced every eight to 10 years or straight away if they had been in an accident.

``Parents need to be responsible and we should have regular checks,'' he said.

Child restraint checks can be done at RACT branches across the state. A child restraint forum will be held at RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel today.

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