All brand new child restraints sold in Australia meet Australian Standards. No matter the brand or the price, as long as your brand new child restraint is installed and used correctly, your child will be safe travelling in the car. If you are buying a second hand child restraint, make sure it meets Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754, version 2000, 2004, 2010 and 2013 – look for this information on the restraint
The incorrect installation and use of the child restraint can cause far more harm than good. If you are unsure about fitting your car seat yourself please have it installed at an authorised fitting station.
Children under the age of 6 months must be secured in a rearward facing child restraint or baby capsule.
Children aged from 6 months to 4 years must be secured in a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness.
Children aged 4 years to 7 years must be secured in a booster seat.
The minimum height for a child to use an adult lap sash seatbelt without a child restraint is 145cm.
Here is where it gets tricky – while child restraints and baby goods shops talk in ages – a child’s height and weight are an important factor in deciding what restraint they should be secured in. If your child is too small for the next specified child seat they should remain in their current seat until they grow into the next seat. On the flip side, if your child is too large for the child restraint specified for their age, they should move to the next approved child restraint to keep them safe.
It is recommended that you do not use a child restraint if it is more than 10 years old or if it is damaged e.g. cracks, frayed or damaged straps, damage to the plastic or foam or accident damage. Never use a child restraint that has been in a car accident – even a little bingle in a car park.
Written by Jaclyn Bold – Bold Trailers
Published in Shire’s Children Magazine – December 2015