Car Seat Safety
As a parent, you just want to keep your child safe, including when traveling in a vehicle. When traveling in your car your child must be in either a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster car seat.
There are a lot of car seats available in the Australian market, but how do you know which one is the best fit for your baby or child?
We help breakdown the minimum legal requirements are for using a car seat below.
The Child Car Seat Law
Child car seat usage in Australia is based on age:
Children under 6 months, must use a rear-facing car seat with an inbuilt harness
Children aged 6 months up to 4 years, must use a rear or forward-facing child seat with an inbuilt harness
Children aged 4 years up to 7 years, must use a forward-facing car seat with an inbuilt harness or a booster seat with a lap sash seatbelt
Children aged 7 years and older, must use a booster seat with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or a standard seat with a seatbelt.
However, if your child is to big or small for the height requirement, the law allows:
Children who are too small can stay in their current seat until they meet the height requirements for the next age bracket
Children who are too big can move to the seat for the next age bracket.
If you are using the wrong seat for the wrong size of the child, the seat will most likely not do what it has been designed to do, protect the child from injury in an accident.
In Australia, all car seats that are used, purchased or sold must meet Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754.
The Standards label should be easily viewable on the packaging and on the seat itself.
Accessories should only be used if they come with the child car seat or if they have been approved for use with that particular car seat. Any accessories that are purchased should meet Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 8005.
Fitting a Child Car Seat in Your Car
For a car seat to work effectively it must be fitted in your vehicle correctly, but this can a frustrating and tricky task.
Make sure you purchase a car seat that suits your vehicle. You can do this by using a display model and checking that it will fit securely in your car. Don’t forget to check what anchor points you have in your car. If you have ISOFIX, make sure you purchase a car seat that is ISOFIX compatible.
Once you have purchased the right child car seat, we suggest using a professional to fit the seat in your car correctly. You can find your local fitter here.
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This is a guide only. Please check with your health professional or your state’s road safety authority for more information.