the child accident prevention foundation of australia

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 vehicles accidents are one of the most common causes of transport related injury for children. Whenever children are passengers in a vehicle they should be seated in the most appropriate child restraint for their age and size. To provide the best protection for your child in a motor vehicle, follow these simple steps:

  • Buckle up Every Child on Every Trip. Always choose, correctly fit and use the restraint most appropriate for your child’s age and size.

  • Use a restraint which has been approved to the Australian Standards AS/NZS 1754 for child car restraints.

  • Prior to 2011, restraints complying with AS/NZS 1754 use weight limits as guides for use.

  • From 2011 onward, restraints will start to use height as the guide for usage—they will have height markers on them with direction for correct usage.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the child car restraint you are using.

  • Second hand restraints should be used with caution. You should be aware of the history of the restraint and be sure that the restraint has all the appropriate fittings. Any restraint that is more than 10 years old should not be used.

  • Children are safest when travelling in the back row/rows of seats in the vehicle.

  • Do not move your child to the next restraint until they have outgrown it. Ensure your child has exceeded the maximum size limits of the restraints available for their age group before choosing to progress to the next stage of restraint.



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 or rows of seats.
    Best Practice Recommendations:

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

    Therefore, if your baby is 6 months old and still fits in their rearward facing restraint, keep them in this position as long as possible.

    Frequently asked questions click here
  • 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 or rows 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 moving
    to a booster seat. If your child has turned 4 but still fits in their inbuilt harness restraint then keep using it.

    Pre 2010 Standard Weight based restraints:

    If your child has not yet reached 4 years of age, but has exceeded the maximum weight limit of their current restraint, you should check there are no other in-built harness restraints on the market that they can fit in before progressing them to a booster seat.

    Frequently asked questions click here

  • Must use EITHER an approved:
    • forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness, OR
    • Booster seat with a properly fasted and adjusted seatbelt or child harness
    • Must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows 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 booster seat until the child reaches the maximum size limit of the restraint. If your child is over 7 years of age and still fits in their booster seat, keep using it.

    Pre 2010 Standard Weight based restraints:

    If your child has not yet reached 7 years of age but has exceeded the maximum weight limit of their current restraint it is important that you check there are not other booster seats on the market that they can travel in before you progress them to the vehicle seat.

    Frequently asked questions click here

  • Must use EITHER an approved:
    • Use either a booster seat with adult seatbelt (properly adjusted and securely fastened) OR
    • The adult seat with the adult seatbelt
    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.

    When your child has outgrown their booster seat and can comfortably sit with their knees bent over the edge of the vehicle seat, they can then safely move into an adult seatbelt. This is usually when they are around 145cm tall.

    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.

    Frequently asked questions click here

Where can I go for further information?