Follow these seven easy steps to ensure you have safe and correctly fitted child restraints in your car.
- Always buy or hire from a reputable trader and ensure the restraint has the appropriate standards label (Australian Standard AS 1754).
- When buying or hiring child restraints:
- be aware that the available interior space and seat shape of your car may not suit all restraints
- ask the supplier to check which restraint fits and is safe to use in your car before you buy or hire
- make sure you can use a convertible restraint safely in its forward- and rear-facing positions in your car.
Note: By law, children up to seven years of age must be correctly restrained according to their age, weight and size.
- Make sure the restraint is suitable for the child´s age, weight and size:
- 0-6 months (less than 8 kg) - use a rear-facing infant capsule or convertible car seat
- 6 months - 1 year (8-12 kg) - use a rear- or forward-facing infant car seat
- 6 months - 4 years (8-18kg) - consider a forward-facing child car seat or booster seat with a five-point child harness
- 4-7 years (14-26kg) - consider a booster seat with H-harness or booster seat with a secured adult seatbelt.
Note: Children should progress to the next level of restraint once their eye level is above the back of their current restraint or the harness straps are in excess of 25mm below the child's shoulder height. Children may move to an adult seatbelt before age seven if their eye level is above the back of the booster seat.
- Check you have fitted the restraint according to the manufacturer´s instructions and make sure it is in good condition. Ensure it has:
- no damage to plastic components
- no worn or frayed harnesses or straps
- intact stitching
- sound and undamaged safety harnesses, anchor bolts and extension straps (if required)
- a buckle that is difficult for a child to open
- a buckle that is relatively easy for an adult to open.
Note: If the restraint is borrowed or second-hand and you are unsure of its safety, contact us before you fit or use the restraint.
- Check the upper anchorage strap is firmly adjusted to remove slack, but does not cause the restraint to lift off the vehicle seat.
- Check the car´s seat belt is fed through the restraint correctly according to the manufacturer´s instructions.
- Check the shoulder harness can be adjusted firmly enough to remove all the slack and the harness slot is no lower than the child´s shoulder height.
For more information, see motor vehicle child restraint mandatory safety standards.
Last reviewed 20/12/2011