FIRST-TIME parents on the Fraser Coast are encouraged to take up an offer from Kidsafe to install newborn car seats free of charge.

CEO of Kidsafe, Susan Teerds, knows how overwhelming becoming a new parent can be especially when it comes to child safety, in particular car safety and fitting child restraints.  

 "The people who have the worst problems would be first-time parents who have never done it before and aren't used to handling a baby let alone fit a baby into a car seat," Ms Teerds said.

Next week Kidsafe will install first born car seats free of charge for parents living in Maryborough and Hervey Bay

"We've received funding from the Department of Transport and Main Roads to install first born newborn seats at no cost," Ms Teerds said.

"We'll also give new parents half an hour of information on how to use the restraint, how it goes in the car, safety tips and how to adjust as the baby grows."

Normally, the cost to have a seat fitted is $40 which Ms Teerds said was a barrier for some parents.

"(Kidsafe) also hires out car seats and new born baby capsules which is a cost effective solution for the time it takes to understand your babies needs and which seat suits them best."

Ms Teerds said there were two components to connecting a child restraint.

"The first is an adult seat belt or isofix connectors and the second is the tether strap which is connected to an anchor point," she said.

"We often see parents don't put the adult seat belt through the correct pathway and they don't connect the tether strap to an anchor but a luggage point.

"In a collision, luggage points won't help."

A common misconception surrounding child restraints was parents believing it was all dependent on a child's weight, Ms Teerds said.

"Legally, it's about the age. Kids must be restrained in a car seat until the age of seven," she said.

"If you have a heavier child, you just need to buy a bigger restraint."

To book an appointment to have a seat fitted call 3854 1829 or visit to book.

Are you wondering whether or not your child is ready for a regular lap sash seatbelt? Take the five step test and find out.

1. Can the child sit with their back against the vehicle seat back?

2. Do the child's knees bend in front of the edge of the seat?

3. Does the sash belt sit across the middle of the shoulder?

4. Is the lap belt sitting low across the hips touching the thighs?

Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

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