AUSTRALIA’S obsession with car seats has resulted in the creation of hundreds of millions of them, with each one costing thousands of dollars.
But a woman in Melbourne’s west is trying to convince parents to put their children in the right car seat.
Roxy Williams, who has a toddler and two young sons, has created a “Car Seat Tracker” app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
She has collected information on the type of car seat being worn, the material, the type and colour of the cover, and the car’s speed rating.
It shows the child is in a good position to roll the car in the event the car is damaged or has been driven to a track.
“The biggest thing I have noticed in my child’s car is when the seat belt gets pushed down,” Ms Williams told the ABC.
The car seat tracker shows the seatbelt is still in place and the child’s positioning on the carseat is the same.
Ms Williams, from Perth, is also a certified car seat instructor and is one of several parents who are using the app to check their children’s car seats are in place.
Many parents are hesitant to ask their children about car seats, fearing they will be found out.
A study by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found one in 10 US children under the age of five admitted to wearing a car seat while riding in their parents’ car.
While many parents are reluctant to ask about car seat safety, Ms Williams is not.
“[Parents] want to do their best and I think that’s very, very important,” she said.
After Ms Williams’ app went viral on Facebook and Google+, she received more than 10,000 Facebook likes and more than 100 tweets.
Read more about car-seat safety:The app uses Google’s “car seat tracking”, which measures the distance of the child in the car to a certain distance, and gives an estimated distance the child will be able to sit upright.
Car seats can be fitted with multiple levels of coverings, but Ms Williams says she has never found a child seat that has all the levels required.
As a car safety instructor, she says she does not have the expertise to advise parents about which level of cover is appropriate for their child.
If you have any information about this story, you can contact the ABC’s investigations unit on 1800 000 or email [email protected]
Originally published as Parents battle the car seats article