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Australian Laws and Child Restraints

The Australian laws relating to child restraints have recently changed. Children under seven are to be restrained in an appropriate child restraint and these laws are designed to increase the safety of your children and reduce injury.

As we are a team of accredited restraint fitters, please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or read our detailed guide on how to choose a carseat.

If your child is: He or she should be restrained in:
Birth up to 6 months Rearward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness
6 months up to 4 years of age Rearward or forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness
4 years up to 7 years of age Forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness or a booster seat
Over 7 years of age Booster seat with either an accessory harness or standard car seat belt

Overview the new legislation

> Babies younger than six months of age must be restrained in a rearward facing restraint.

> Children from six months to four years of age must be restrained in a rearward facing or forward facing restraint. Children under four years of age must not travel in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows.

> Children from four to seven years of age must be seated in a forward facing restraint or booster seat.

> Children from four to seven years of age can only sit in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows when all other seats are occupied by children of a lesser age in an approved child restraint.

Tip! Use the shoulder height markers

Newer seats nowadays all have a label on the restraint showing you exactly where the childs shoulders can be to safely use the seat. Shoulder height markers make it so easy for parents and carers to establish if a child car seat is suitable for their child and when the child needs to have the shoulder straps adjusted or when they are ready to move to the next child car seat.

Shoulder Height Markers, located on the inner side of the seat, prompt parents and carers to ensure their childs seats, and associated harnesses, are adjusted at the right stages of the childs growth to maintain optimal safety in the event of an accident.

Child sizes and weight referencing

If your child is too small for a restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in their current of restraint for as long as necessary. If your child is too large for a restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of restraint. Basically if your child is under seven and fits in a restraint, they should be in one, providing they suit the weight requirement as specified by the car seat manufacturer. New car seats suiting children up to 36kg are now available on the market.

Further Resources

Australian Child Restraint Resource Initiative (ACRI)

Child Restraint Evaluation Program

Kidsafe NSW

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