Nepean Hospital Aboriginal Caseload Midwife, Cindy Partridge and Sergeant Greg Donaldson with one of the donated car seats.
Donation helps families buckle up safely
26 Feb 2021
Local families in need of help to afford safe car seats for their children will receive a helping hand thanks to a road safety initiative providing Nepean Hospital with donated car seats to give to disadvantaged families.
The child restraint initiative, spearheaded by NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Sergeant Greg Donaldson, works with local groups to purchase compliant car seats and provide them to those in need.
Nepean Hospital recently received four car seats for children aged 0 – 4 which were generously donated by the owners of The Coffee Club at Nepean River through the initiative.
Staff from the hospital’s antenatal and social work teams will identify local families to receive the car seats, ensuring their little ones are safely restrained during travel.
Sgt Donaldson says he began the initiative after identifying that people were often being penalised for child restraint traffic offences.
“It was not a case of these drivers deliberately putting their children at risk – they did not have the funds to purchase the most up-to-date child restraint seats and were often buying all they could afford; secondhand seats that were not up to safety regulations or installed correctly,” says Sgt Donaldson.
“It’s a wonderful difference that we can make to some of our most vulnerable families."
He says the program has a particular focus on assisting disadvantaged and Aboriginal families.
“In NSW, in the ten years leading up to 2018, there were 66 child restraint-aged children killed in car crashes. About half of them weren’t restrained correctly and studies show that about 20 of those lives would have been saved had the child been fastened in a compliant car seat.”
“Although Aboriginal children only account for 5 per cent of the population of children in NSW, they accounted for 20 per cent of the fatalities,” Sgt Donaldson says.
Nepean Hospital Aboriginal Caseload Midwife, Cindy Partridge says the hospital is grateful for the support the child restraint initiative provides.
“Financially, receiving a car seat is a huge pressure off families. As is knowing that their child is safe if they were ever in an accident,” says Ms Partridge.
“It’s a wonderful difference that we can make to some of our most vulnerable families. You don’t realise how much it really means to families that need that support. We really appreciate it as a community and also for helping to keep the mob safe,” says Ms Partridge.