How to choose a car seat?
The best car seat is one that fits your child, fits your car(s) and is easy to install and to use. Here are some useful tips and recommendations to help you decide.
Height is more important than age. Only move to the next car seat when your child's shoulder reach the height markers.And make sure the shoulder straps are parallel or straight going forward.
It is safest to buy a car seat to suit your child’s height as they grow, rather than buy a car seat that covers the whole age range (using the same car seat from birth to 3½ years, or longer).
Types of child restraints
There are six different types (Type A to Type F) of child restraints under the mandatory standard. These are:
1. Type A: Rearward-facing or transversely installed restraint with a harness or other means of holding the child back . The Maxi-Cosi Mico andTitan are type A car seats.
2. Type B: Forward-facing chair with a harness. The Maxi-Cosi Complete Air is a type B car seat.
3. Type C: Forward-facing harness without a chair
4. Type D : Rearward-facing chair with harness
5. Type E: A restraint that consists of either: a booster seat or booster cushion used with a Type C child restraint and a seat belt, or with a lap-sash seat belt, or a converter seat suitable for children who weigh 18 to 32 kg.
6. Type F: A restraint that consists of either:
- a booster seat used in conjunction with a Type C child restraint and a seatbelt, or with a lap-sash seatbelt, suitable for children approximately 4 to 10 years of age, or
- a converter used in conjunction with a seatbelt, suitable for children approximately 8 to 10 years of age.
Combination Type A/B: Child restraints can also be a combination of the above types. For example, a Type A/B converter seat. The Maxi-Cosi Hera is a Combination type A/B.
Combination type B/E: a combination of a forward facing car seat with a harness, which turns in to a booster seat with lap-sash belt. The Maxi-Cosi Goliath is a Combination seat B/E.
*Do you know?*
When is it time to switch to the next stage car seat? When your child's shoulder reach the height marker.
Rear-facing as long as possible
Wait as long as possible to switch from a baby to a toddler car seat but always change when your child's shoulder reach the height marker. Babies up to the age of 12 months are best protected travelling in a rear-facing direction. This way, the energy of the impact is absorbed and distributed by the seat shell and car seat belts.
Never buy a child car seat that is too big, make sure it is appropriate for your child’s height from the first day of use.
Switch from baby to toddler seat
Your baby has outgrown his baby car seat when the shoulders reach the height markers. Make sure your baby’s head is generously protected by the (top of the) seat. Note: it is not a problem if the child’s legs extend beyond the edge of the seat.
Switch from toddler to child seat
From a toddler seat, step up to a child car seat if your child’s shoulders reach the upper height markers.
The safety information on this page came from the ACCC via www.productsafety.gov.au.