Child restraints

Children in Car Restraints

Choosing and using correctly fitted and properly adjusted child restraints is an important part of parenting to provide protection for your children in vehicles.

This article highlights:

Important information to remember

  • By law, the driver must ensure passengers under 16 years are in the necessary seatbelts or restraints – children up to 7 years must be seated in approved child restraints
  • Children under the age of 10 years are safest sitting in the rear of vehicles, mostly due to dangers of front airbag deployment
  • When fitting a baby or child restraint follow the manufacturer's instructions or, better still, have it fitted at an accredited child restraint station so you are sure it is installed correctly
  • If you have decided not to buy a new child restraint there are several options available to hire child restraints from local councils

Choosing the correct restraint

CREP (Child Restraint Evaluation Program)

The CREP (Child Restraint Evaluation Program) is a partnership between government and motorist organisations dedicated to improving safety for children travelling in vehicles. The information below outlines buying child restraints (including those that perform beyond the Australian Standards specifications):

Rules for child restraints

It is important to select the right child restraint and booster seat for children's safety and understand the rules:

  • Everyone in a vehicle must be in a restraint that is properly adjusted and fastened. Depending on the passengers size this will be:
    • a child restraint
    • a booster or
    • a seatbelt
  • A baby under 6 months of age must travel in a rearward facing approved child restraint
  • A child 6-months to under 4 years must travel in either a rearward facing OR forward facing approved child restrain (the type of restraint will depend on the child's size)
  • A child aged 4 years to under 7 years must travel in either a forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness, or an approved booster seat. A booster seat can be used with a lap-sash seatbelt or child safety harness (the type of restraint will depend on the child's size)
  • A child aged 7 years to under 16 years can travel in either an approved booster seat or an adult seatbelt (the type of restraint will depend on the child's size)
  • A person 16 years and over to travel in an adult seatbelt

For more detailed information on child restraints see the following links:

How to videos

These how to videos of real parents putting their children in car restraints highlights how important it is to check and make sure your babies, toddlers and children are as safe as possible:

Rear facing child restraints

http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/video_file/0008/60938/1.-NCRC-EPISODE-ONE-Pro-Res-Master-1080p.mp4

Forward facing child restraints

http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/video_file/0009/60939/2.-NCRC-EPISODE-TWO-H264-Master-1080p.mp4

Booster seats

http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/video_file/0019/60940/3.-NCRC-EPISODE-THREE-H264-1080p.mp4