Hi I’m Kelly Lowndes,
I am the founder and director of Child Restraint Installations Australia (CRIA)
CRIA came about after we were involved in a vehicle collision with a drunk driver in January 2010 when my sons were only 4, 6 & 9 years of age.
This collision was the catalyst to my journey of becoming an Accredited Child Restraint Technician starting with questioning why my sons survived & why their car seats were so important, when my vehicle had been written off during the impact.
In 2014, I trained with KIDSAFE WA to become an Accredited Type 1 Installer and the became Accredited with WALGA Roadwise, which is Western Australia’s overseeing body.
I am the mother of 4 children who are now 27, 19, 16 & 14 years of age and the grandmother of two granddaughters 7 & 3 years of age.
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare being involved in a collision. We spend hours researching and a fortune buying the safest seat possible. As I found out after the collision unfortunately, most parents do not know how to correctly use and maintain their child’s car seats.
This is what propelled me into building this business and working towards changing the perception that we all know how to correctly use, install and maintain our seats. The statistics in 2010 stated that 75% of child restraints are incorrectly used and installed but in fact over the last 9 years it has become apparent that these statistics are incorrect and the number should be closer to 90%.. that is extremely scary. Something has to happen. There are children whos lives are in danger right now because the parents or carers simply are not educated for a multiple of reasons.
By the grace of God when we were hit by the drunk driver my boys were in booster seats that were correctly installed and used. This is what saved their lives, without realising I was already using my children’s car seats correctly and had installed them correctly.
Over the last four years, I have worked in and around Perth with community groups, business small & large, families and government departments discussing and assisting with installations, group talks, audits and FREE community events over Perth and into the Great Southern of Western Australia.
So what is my aim?
Raise awareness and educate further around the importance of correct installation, correct use and correct maintenance of the child’s car seat and to save the lives of innocent children by doing so.
What do I want to see happen within the industry?
I would love to see regulation across Australia. Along the same lines as a trainee ship or apprenticeship. This is extremely important for the integrity of what we do and for the overall safety of the children’s lives we hold in our hands when we install their car seats, educate their parents and carers.
I would love to establish a non-for-profit solely for the purpose Child Passenger Safety that can oversee installers right across Australian states and Territories. That is not controlled by marketing or cross-promotional advertising. Is sponsored by the Federal Government and is the central location for all science based and evidence based factual material and training.
Fate pushed me into doing what I do and building my business into what it is today. This is my purpose in life and the reason I strive to help as many people as I can. I strongly believe that fate happened the night of our the collision and that I have a duty to educate as many families, carers, business, and individuals I can.
I owe it to not only my children, but every single child in Australia.
Thankyou for reading
I dedicate this to my children & grand children xx
Talitha, Jacob, Zachary, Joel, Kyra and Alyssa
Hope you will be proud of me x