For one Bunbury mother it has become her mission to improve car seat safety and raise awareness for best practices, one check at a time.
Lauren Moloney is known to her friends as the ‘crazy car seat lady’, but that title sits well with the mother of three, who is passionate about educating parents and caregivers on safety and the advantages of rear-facing car seats.
“I first started getting interested in car seats when my eldest was born five years ago, I had a car seat installed that wasn’t done very well, so I went home pulled it apart and did it myself,” she said.
“I’m really passionate about best practice, our laws in Australia are quite minimal – we turn babies at six months old in Australia, which is the youngest of almost any developed nation.”
Ms Moloney is accredited through WALGA and recently started providing free car seat safety checks for South West families.
“I’m passionate about getting people educated and installing their car seats correctly and that’s why I’m doing it as a community service,” she said.
“I do free checks from my home where I check the car seats and fix anything that needs fixing, I also teach them about car seat safety, I make sure they know how to strap their kids in properly and tight enough and explain to them the benefits of extended rear-facing and harnessing.
“They’ve changed Australian legislation so you can rear-face a child up to four and harness children till about eight years of age – it’s now about trying to change how people think about it.”
Since beginning in September of last year, Ms Moloney said she had conducted about 30 checks.
“Every single one of the seats I checked over a three month period needed fixing and 75 per cent of them had serious errors, so the parents were really grateful,” she said.
“Every car seat is different so it’s really hard for parents to know everything about their car seat - it’s a bit of a mindfield unfortunately for something that is so important.
“They are our kids, most parents would do anything for them and with cars these days and particularly drivers and the amount of accidents there are, the rate of child fatalities in cars is crazy – it is so sad.
For more information contact 0412 593 928 or visit facebook.com/fitsrightsw.