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How safe is my car seat?

Selecting the right child seat restraint or booster is a big descision, so make sure you have the right information to make the best decission for your child

Choose the right child seat / restraint

Children need different restraints as they grow. The restraint must match the age, size and weight of your child. It must be correctly installed in your car and the straps must be adjusted so that your child is held in snugly.

When using a restraint, ensure it meets the Australian standards and follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly or go to a Restraint Fitting Station - their operators have been specially trained to install approved infant and child restraints in a wide variety of vehicles.

If the inbuilt harness is loose or the restraint is not attached securely to the vehicle, it will not protect your child properly in a crash.

Choosing and using child restraints and booster seats (pdf 800k) A guide for parents with children from birth to 16 years. This booklet is a handy, comprehensive reference that covers the road rules and safety tips and includes details of the models of restraints currently available.

Child restraint & booster seat road rules

The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows:

  • Children aged under six months must wear a properly fastened and adjusted approved rearward facing child restraint.
  • Children aged between six months and under four years must wear a properly fastened and adjusted approved rearward facing child restraint OR a forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness.
  • Children aged four years to under seven must wear a properly fastened and adjusted approved forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness OR an approved booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt or child safety harness.

 More information for:


What about weight?
A child, who is too heavy for the restraint recommended for their age, should use a restraint for the next age category (see table below).

Rear facing child restraint (inbuilt harness) Products are available for children up to 9kg or 12kg.
Approved child restraint (inbuilt harness) Suitable for children up to a maximum weight of 18kg.
Approved booster seat (additional child safety harness optional) Suitable for children up to a maximum weight of 26kg

Always wait until your child has outgrown their current restraint before changing to the next size.

Not all child restraints are created equal - Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP)

The latest Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) test child restraints and makes the results available to assist parents / carrers to choose the correct restraint for their child.

Restraints are tested in three categories;

  • Rearward-facing restraints for babies,
  • Forward-facing restraints for young children
  • Booster seats for older children.

The restraints are rated according to how well they protect your child in a crash and how easy they are to use. The restraints are given a star rating for their performace view the latest Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) test results here

Choose from the results below and you will be taken to the CREP results page 

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Recent News

Used Car Safety Ratings out now

The latest UCSR are based on statistics collected from car crashes in Australia and New Zealand between 1990 and 2017, where someone was killed or seriously injured. Over eight million police reported crashes were analysed in the latest UCSR.

Used Car Safety Ratings out now