Get up to date with the latest Australian car seat safety information
Making sure your baby’s car seat complies with the latest safety requirements is a legal obligation. It is a good idea to seek the services of a professional child car restraint fitter to ensure peace of mind. Your baby car seat retailer should be able to assist you, or alternatively visit the Royal Automobile Club in your state or territory and see if they provide restraint fitting services close to home.
Travelling with your Child
It's important to know how to position your children when travelling.
If travelling with one child only, place them diagonally opposite the driver’s seat, so they are not travelling on the ‘traffic side’.
Remember, your baby’s car seat need to fit not only the baby but also the car! Be aware of your growing baby and how it's position in the car will need to change as it grows.
The following is a guide only and based on information for Victoria – your state or territory legislation might differ.
Determining the right restraint for your child
Six Months and Under
If your child is under six months of age, they must travel in a rearward facing approved child restraint
Six Months to Four Years Old
If your child is six months to four years old, then it comes down to their size.
Your child must travel in either a forward facing or rearward facing approved child restraint with deciding factor will be your child’s size.
Four to Seven Years Old
If your child is aged between four and seven years old, again, it comes down to your child's size.
Your child should should travel in either a forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or should travel in an approved booster seat.
The deciding factor will be your child’s size. It's important to be observant of how your child sits in the car.
Seven to 16 Years Old
If your child is aged between seven and 16 years old, then it comes down to their size,
Your child should travel in an approved booster seat or can sit in an adult car seat using a seatbelt.
16 years or over
Your child is ready to use an adult car seat with a proper fitting adult seatvelt.
Note: a booster sear may be used with a child safety harness or a lap-sash.
Too Tall or Heavy?
If your child is too tall or too heavy for the restraint recommended for their age group road rules allow your child to use an approved restraint in the next age level category to them. However:
The restraint must be the right size for your child (do see a professional restraint fitter if you are unsure)
The restraint must be properly adjusted and fastened
The restraint must be correctly fitted to the vehicle
Does my Restraint meet Australian Standards?
All child restraints must meet Australian & New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 1754). This standard has been carefully designed to ensure your child is the safest when travelling and is one of the strictest child restraint standards in the world.
When purchasing your child restraint, make sure you look for the standards approved sticker.
What is CREP?
CREP stands for Child Restraint Evaluation Program, and it is essentially a body of independent information about the level of protection from injury provided by child restraints. In addition CREP details just how easy it can be to use a child restraint. The online resource is supported by VicRoads, RACV and TAC in Victoria.
What is ISOFIX?
ISOFIX is a method of attaching a child restraint to your actual vehicle, without using a seatbelt. ISOFIX compatible child restraints have connectors that attach to ISOFIX anchors (in cars that have installed ISOFIX anchors). These child restraints also come with a top tether strap – it is obligatory to use this strap as well. In short – ISOFIX compatible child restraints give you an alternative option to using a seatbelt.
For more handy car seat tips & advice, see the following articles:
Last updated 16th January, 2017