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Safety checklist: near the road and in the car

New Zealand Child Safety Foundation

Safety near the road

Key facts about child pedestrian injury in New Zealand (0-4 years)

  • each month, on average, more than one child pedestrian is killed.
  • each week, on average, six child pedestrians are injured seriously enough to require hospitalisation.
  • the risk of injury to child pedestrians appears to be increasing.
  • very young children are most at risk from home driveway injuries.  The injuries these children sustain are often severe.


  • Ensure your child keeps on your property and away from driveways
  • Teach your child never to run out onto the street
  • Teach your child never to chase a ball onto the road
  • Teach your child never to chase a pet onto the road
  • Teach you child to never drive their bike or tricycle on the road
  • Teach your child the ‘stop’ – ‘look’ – ‘listen’ rule
  • Teach your child to walk on footpaths never the road
  • Teach your child to always get out of the car on the kerb side

Safety in the car

Motor Vehicle Passenger Injuries (children 0-14 years old)

  • for children of all ages, motor vehicle passenger injuries are the leading cause of death for unintentional injury, accounting for 25% of all fatalities.

The use of child car seat restraints and seatbelts is a proven strategy in reducing the severity of an injury from a motor vehicle crash.

In New Zealand, every child under 5 years of age must be properly restrained by an approved child restraint of an appropriate type when travelling in cars and vans.  Children older than 5 but less than 8 years of age must use an approved child restraint of an appropriate type if one is available, or else use an adult safety belt.  Older children must use a safety belt if available.  If no restraint is available they must travel in the rear seat. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure all child passengers are correctly restrained.

Warning : all restraints should be NZ Safety Standards approved


  • Use the right car restraint for your child’s age
  • Ensure seat is fitted and bolted properly
  • Harness/seatbelt should be tight enough to protect
  • Teach by example: buckle yourself up
  • Let children in and out on the kerb side
  • Ensure you have kiddy locks on car doors
  • Don’t let your child play with windows or cigarette lighters
  • Never let a child play or stay in the car alone

This checklist has been kindly provided by the New Zealand Child Safety Foundation , one of New Zealand’s least known but most valuable charitable foundations. Established in 1985 as the New Zealand Safe Playing Trust to teach safety to pre-school and early primary school pupils, the Child Safety Foundation NZ was renamed in 1993. The Foundation is not funded by the Government and derives it’s funding from donations and fundraising. The foundation, through the generosity of its sponsors and other limited funding provides worthwhile services to support young families.