How to Choose your Car Seat
Child Restraint Laws
These laws require drivers to guarantee the safety of children that are 7 years or under by having them properly restrained in an Australian Standards approved child restraint.
Which Child Restraint?
Under 6 months: Either choose a capsule 0 to 1 year (depending on the capsule and the size of the child) OR a 0- 4 years car seat
Require approved child restraints that are rearward facing, fitted correctly for the type of vehicle and adjustable to fit your child correctly. Try to keep your child in this restraint until they reach the max weight and length limits. Also they cannot sit in the front passenger seat of the vehicle if it has 2 or more rows of seating. Babies and children are safer in the back seat of cars. Rearward facing is much safe than forward facing with some parents choosing to rearward face for up to 2 years.
6 months to 4 years: Either choose a a 0- 4 years car seat (for a longer, safer time rearward facing) OR a convertible booster seat 6 month to 8 years (forward facing only) with a built in harness for extra safety
Required to use an approved rearward facing restraint or a forward facing restraint with a built in harness that can be correctly adjusted to the vehicle and the child’s body. Try to keep your child in the forward facing restraint with harness until they are physically ready to move to a booster seat. They mustn’t be able to fit properly into a forward facing restraint before changing. They are also unable to travel in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with two or more rows of seats. Babies and children are safer in the back seat of cars.
4 to 7 years: Forward facing booster seat using a seatbelt but only to be used when the child is over the height markers found on newer booster seat models.
Required to use am approved forward facing restraint with a harness or a booster seat with an adjustable seatbelt or harness. Keep your child in the booster seat until they reach the maximum height and weight limits. Keep using your booster seat even if your child is over 7 and can still fit in it. Children mustn’t travel in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with two or more rows unless the back seats are taken by other children under the age of 7 although I kept my very tall son in a booster until he was eleven years old. Babies and children are safer in the back seat of cars.
Child Restraint Penalties & Fines
The driver of the vehicle is legally responsible for all occupants, especially for those occupants needing to be properly restrained in child restraints. If drivers do not abide by these laws they could be given a fine starting at $500 for the first unrestrained occupant and increase by $100 for every other.