The new version of the Australian/New Zealand Standard for child restraints (AS/NZS 1754:2013) provides an option for child restraint manufacturers to produce ISOFIX compatible child restraints. ISOFIX is an alternative method of attaching a child restraint to a vehicle, independent of the vehicle seatbelt.
Every child is different, so use the following as a guide. Only move your child to the next level of protection when they no longer fit in their current restraint.
From rearward-facing restraint to forward-facing restraint:
From forward-facing restraint to booster seat: Your child should be moved when:
From a booster seat to a seatbelt: Your child should be moved when:
This depends on whether there is more than one row of seats in the car and the age of the child.
Where there are two or more rows of seats:
However, it is strongly recommended that children always sit in the rear seat as it is safer for children.
Note: Front seats do not have child restraint anchorage points supplied, so child restraints and booster seats with tether straps cannot be used in these seating positions, unless yours have the anchorage point retro-fitted.
If the car has one row of seats (for example a single cab ute or sports car with a front anchorage point) a child of any age can sit in the front seat provided they are properly restrained. However, most car manufacturers recommend against the use of rearward facing restraints in front passenger seats. A child in a rearward facing restraint should not be placed in the front seat of a vehicle where there is an air bag.
No. Child restraints purchased overseas do not comply with Australian Standards and they are not compatible with Australian vehicles.
Australian vehicles have a unique top tether strap anchorage system, with which only Australian Standard approved child restraints are compatible.
In addition, the Australian Standard for child restraints is one of the most stringent child restraint standards in the world. Unlike the European Standard, the Australian Standard requires all restraints to be tested in side and rear impact tests and some with an inverted test for roll-over protection.
This will depend on the age of your children and the size of your car as well as the type of your child restraint and booster seats you have.
There are a range of child restraints and booster seats available with a narrow base which may be suitable for your child and car. You can consider the restraint dimensions listed under the "CREP results" to see if the restraint will fit in your car.
In NSW, taxi drivers are required to ensure:
In NSW, one in ten taxis carries an approved child restraint. If you need a child restraint, you should ask for one when booking a taxi or take one with you.
In Victoria, taxi drivers do not have to provide a child restraint or booster seat but must ensure their vehicle has an anchor point so that a child restraint can be fitted. There are exemptions to the child restraint laws if:
It is recommended that parents provide their own child restraint when travelling in a taxi.
A child safety harness is difficult to fit correctly. Research recommends using a child safety harness only in situations where it is not possible to replace your lap-only seatbelt with a lap-sash seatbelt. In this case, it is recommended to use a booster seat with an anti-submarining feature.
If you must use a child safety harness, ensure that the shoulder straps are not too tight and that the lap part of the seatbelt is very low across the thighs, otherwise it may ride up into the child's stomach area. Incorrect use of a child safety harness may cause severe submarining and direct contact between the harness system and the child's neck (see video below).
Remember, every child must be suitably restrained when travelling in a vehicle, unless you have and carry a current certificate signed by a medical practitioner exempting your child due to medical reasons.