Child Car Restraints

In Western Australia, the leading cause of death and the third most frequent cause of hospitalisation for children aged 0-14 years is transport related injury. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of transport related injury for children. Children as passengers in a vehicle should be seated in the most appropriate child car restraint for their age and size. To provide the best protection for your child in a motor vehicle follow these simple steps:


Which restraint do I use for my child?


Must use an approved child restraint that is:

  • rearward facing
  • properly fitted to the vehicle
  • adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly
  • Must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row/s of seats.
Best Practice Recommendations

Keep your baby in a rearward-facing child car restraint until they have reached the maximum size limits and can sit by themselves on the floor with no support.


Must use EITHER an approved:

  • rearward facing child restraint, OR
  • a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness
  • properly fitted to the vehicle
  • adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly
  • must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row/s of seats.

Best Practice Recommendations

Keep your child in a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness until the child reaches the maximum size limit of the restraint before progressing to the next stage.



Must use EITHER an approved:

  • forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness, OR
  • booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt or child harness
  • must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row/s of seats unless all the other back seats are occupied by children who are also under 7 years of age.

Best Practice Recommendations

Keep your child in a child car restraint until they reach the maximum size limit of the restraint.



Must use EITHER an approved:

  • a forward facing child car restraint with an inbuilt harness OR
  • a dedicated booster seat using the vehicles' lap sash seat belt.
Best Practice Recommendations

Check to see if they can safely use an adult seatbelt or if a booster seat is still needed, even if they have turned 7 years of age.

If your child has outgrown the child car restraint with the inbuilt harness or the dedicated booster seat please carry out the 'five step test' to ensure your child is ready to comfortably sit with an adult seatbelt. 

Although a child aged over 7 can legally ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with two or more rows of seats, it is recommended that children under 13 years of age always use the rear seats first.




If you would like to speak to someone about child car restraints please contact Kidsafe WA on 08 6244 4880.

Kidsafe WA has a range of child car restraints available for purchase at our centre and through our online shop. To view our range please click here.