Finding out you are pregnant can be one of the most exciting times in any future parent’s lives. As you start preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy, there can be a never-ending checklist of items you need to buy. One of the most difficult purchases can sometimes be the child car restraint. It’s hard to not get overwhelmed when standing in front of a wall of car seats at a baby store and thinking, where do I even start?
To get you started, here are the top 10 tips for choosing and fitting your new child car restraint from our team of expert child car restraint fitters at Kidsafe WA:
- Decide whether a capsule or a convertible child car restraint for a newborn is better suited to you. Remember that capsules are a short term option – maximum 12 months.
- Make sure the child car restraint will fit in your current vehicle.
- Read your vehicle owner’s manual to locate the anchor points needed to fit the child car restraint.
- Remember that all child car restraints must meet the Australian Standards AS/NZS1754.
- If using a second hand child car restraint, make sure it is less than 10 years of age and has never been in a car accident.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when fitting your car seat.
- Make sure you use either the seatbelt or ISOFIX attachments to fit the child car restraint, not both. If choosing to use the seatbelt for the fitting, ensure they are in good working order and retract properly. Remember to use the blue colour seatbelt path when installing a rearward facing restraint.
- Remember to regularly check the restraint and make adjustments as your baby grows. For example, move the headrest and harness straps as required.
- Keep your baby rearward facing until they have reached the minimum height conversion line on the restraint.
- If it is your first time fitting a child car restraint, we always recommend having it checked over. The seat may look okay however, 76% of car seats that are checked at Kidsafe WA are fitted incorrectly.
Finally, remember to give yourself plenty of time and try not to rush. If you would like more information on child car restraints or to book an appointment to have your restraint fitted or check, contact KidsafeWA on 6244 4880 or visit kidsafewa.com.au.