With the Easter school holidays fast approaching in Australia, we thought it was a good time to highlight the importance of having the appropriate car seat for every child riding in the car. Not only is it dangerous for children to travel unrestrained in a motor vehicle – in Australia, it’s the law!
All too often we hear about an irresponsible parent who has been caught driving with unrestrained kids in the car. In Australia, more children die from injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident than die from cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined¹. In most cases, these children died because they were travelling unrestrained in the motor vehicle.
For small children, wearing a seat belt alone doesn’t provide adequate protection from injury during a motor vehicle accident. Seat belts are designed to protect adults, not children and it is for this reason, national child restraint laws require that all children must be safely fastened in the correct child car seat for their age and size². The Automotive Superstore are the only automotive parts dealer in Australia that offers approved child car seats and accessories online and they ship Australia wide.
National Child Restraint Laws
Like adults, children come in different shapes and sizes and while most children will fit the appropriate restraint for their age group, some children are small for their age and will need to use a restraint manufactured for younger children. By the same token, some children are larger and will have to move up to the next level of child restraint before the rest of their peers. The most important thing is fit – a child restraint which is too big or too small, will not provide adequate protection in a motor vehicle accident.
As previously mentioned, it is illegal to have an unrestrained child riding in a car (even for a very short time) and Police in all States and Territories of Australia are always on the lookout for children who are unrestrained, or are using a child restraint which is too big or too small.
National child restraint laws apply to children up to the age of 7 however, it is recommended that children between the ages of 7 and 16 who are too small to be properly restrained by a seat-belt to use an approved booster seat.
- Babies 0 – 6 Months must be secured correctly in an approved rearward facing infant car seat.
- Children aged 6 months to 4 years old must be secured correctly in either a rear or forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness.
- Children aged 4 – 7 years old must be secured in a correctly fitted forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat. Please note: children aged under seven cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years.
- Children in booster seats must be restrained by a suitable lap and sash type approved seat-belt that is properly adjusted and fastened, or by a suitable approved child safety harness that is properly adjusted and fastened.