When bringing your child along for a car ride, keeping them safe and comfortable is a priority. A reliable car seat can help bring you peace of mind and let you focus on the road. Think about the following when buckling up your little one:
- The first step is to ensure that your car seat is installed and correctly fitted to your car.
- Take your time: check that the car restraints are fitted properly, and your little one is snug and safe.
- Ensure you keep a safe distance from the car in front.
- Always travel at a safe speed, within the posted limit and to the conditions of the road.
- For young children travelling in your car, they must travel in a child restraint that complies with the Australian safety standard AS/NZ 1754. Never use a restraint that is damaged, has been modified or is over ten years old.
- Always use an appropriate restraint for your child’s age and height. Following best practice guidelines and your state’s road laws.
- Always seek professional intervention when choosing and installing your child’s car seat.
An infant should remain rearward facing for as long as possible. We recommend that your little one be rearward facing until they are at least 12 months old and meet the first height market. If you are thinking of placing them forward-facing, their torso must meet the minimum height limits on the restraint. Many restraints can carry a child rearward facing for up to 30 months. We recommend a rear-facing position for any child under four years old.
A toddler should remain in a full child restraint with a built-in harness until their height and weight reach the seat marker limits. Only move a child out of their current restraint when they have outgrown the seat's limitations. A booster seat can be used from four years of age provided that your child meets the minimum height marker. However, many restraints can keep a child in a full internal harness up to the age of approximately eight years old. We strongly recommend children travel in a seat with a harness as they provide far greater protection.
We recommend that a child should not sit in an adult seat belt until they are at least 145 cm tall, even if they are seven years or older. The five-step plan above is the best way to determine the appropriate time to transition to an adult seat belt. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!