In October 2010, Australia changed the child restraint laws in all states. These new guidelines have been set to save children’s lives.
In October 2010, Australia changed the child restraint laws in all states. These new guidelines have been set to save children’s lives. In Australia, more children die from injuries resulting from car accidents than any other accident. This is a devastating number that has caused an increased interest in protecting children in the car. This guide will help you navigate through the latest safety standards in baby car seats.
Children Under 6 Months Old
The most important rule is that parents use a car seat that is specifically made for infants. These child restraints are often referred to as baby safety capsules. Babies that are between 9k and 12kg, and no longer than 70cm, will fit nicely in a baby capsule. Another option is that the baby can be placed in a convertible restraint. This is a great option that will save money, as a parent can forgo the baby capsule. No matter if the child is in a capsule or a convertible car seat, they must be rear-facing.
In addition, the baby cannot ride in the front seat of a car if there are two or more rows of seating. Obviously, you should make sure the baby is properly secured in the car seat and that the car seat has been installed and fits correctly in the vehicle.
Children between 6 Months and 4 Years Old
As your child grows, her height, weight, or age will indicate that she must move from a capsule to a car seat. If your child is already in a convertible child restraint, there is no need to purchase a new seat. Children between 6 months and 4 years old can be placed into an approved rear-facing child restraint, a front-facing convertible child restraint with a built-in harness until they reach a weight of 18kg, a combination restraint with an in-built harness, or toddler restraint.
Children in this age group cannot ride in the front seat of a vehicle if there are two or more rows of seating. As always, make sure the restraint is adjusted to fit the child’s body properly and make sure that the restraint is securely fitted to the vehicle. When the child is 18kg or more, he can move up to a booster seat.
Children Aged 4 to 7 Years Old
Once a child reaches 4 years of age, he must be in a combination restraint with an internal harness, and must also use a lap/sash seatbelt or a Child Harness when the child is over 18kg. An older child can sit on a booster seat with the vehicle’s lap/sash seatbelt or restrained with a Child Harness. A booster seat is good for children that are 26kg or less. If a child has turned 7 years old, but is still under 26kg, then he should continue to use the booster seat until he has reached this weight.
Children between the ages of 4 and 7 should not ride in the front seat at all, unless all the back passenger seats are already occupied by other children younger than 7 years of age. Even at this age, a child should only be sitting in the front seat if it is a last resort and there are no other options.
These age specific child restraint laws are put into effect to ensure the highest level of safety for children riding in vehicles.