Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cleaning Child Restraints

Miss 6 year old and Miss 3 year old make keeping the car clean a challenge. But as a dutiful Galmatic trainer, every week - the car seats come out of the back and the vacuum cleaner picks up all the food bits that missed the mouth.
Often however parents find it tricky remembering how to put the car seat back in.

We check several car seats a week in our workshops and my best tip is to take a photo of how the straps are attached so that you can put them back in the right way.
Give the seat and the cover a good clean and then make sure you have the seat back in correctly.
The most important thing to remember about child car restraints is that the restraint is only effective if used correctly. The most common things we here at our workshops are:
 “But I had my restraint fitted last year by a professional – why do I need to check it?”
“My child is so clever they can get themselves in and out of the car seat on their own”
“I know my car seat is in correctly as I give it a bit of a shake every now and then”

The important thing to remember it that child restraints move when a car brakes, accelerates quickly, children get in and out, when you ‘test’ it with a shake and when the vacuum cleaner goes underneath. They need to be checked regularly to ensure they are positioned correctly.
Unlike walking and talking, getting in and out of a child restraint is not a milestone. It is important to ensure the restraint is used correctly – can you really put the life of your child in their own hands?

A daily Check list
Is the seat belt buckle connected?
Is the seat belt adjusted correctly?
Is there any twist or slack in the harness?
Is the angular aspect OK?
Is there any slack in the upper tether strap?
Are there any loose items that might hurt your child?

Weekly Checklist
Has your child outgrown their restraint?
Are your child’s shoulders above the strap slots?
Do the inserts effect safe harness adjustment?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Galmatic ladies Only Defensive Driving Courses

Now it may look like we are relaxing, but these are our witches hats, which we call our cows, after a long hot day out at Sydney Dragway.

Helen was enjoying the comfort of the air conditioned training room as I packed up the hats, the hose, our flags and the empty water bottles from the track.

It was a hot one today - but great to see so many ladies getting to know their cars and learning the limitations and abilities that they have behind the wheel of their car. 

It's a long day and quite tiring and confronting at times - but it's also exhilarating and empowering.
We had several P Platers on yesterdays course and its always wonderful to see how amazing their reaction time is and how excited they are about their new freedom.

We would love to see more driver training taught in schools and to young drivers. What are your thoughts?