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FAQS

You can find the frequently asked questions below.

Car seats

Are there any medical exemptions from wearing a child restraint ?
Children are exempt from wearing a child restraint if they hold a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner which certifies that the child should not, for medical reasons, be restrained while traveling in a motor vehicle. Generally, if a child is unrestrained within a vehicle on medical grounds, they must travel in a rear seat. However, if the medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner certifies that the child should not, or cannot, for medical reasons, travel in a rear seat, then the child may sit in the front row.
At what age can a child travel in the front seat ?
The Australian road rules allow a child aged 7 years and over to travel in the front seat, however research shows that children under 16 years of aged are at 40% greater risk of injury when traveling in the front seat. If a vehicle has two or more rows of seats, children aged under 4 years must not travel in the front seat. If all rear seats are being used by children under 7 years of age, children aged 4 years to under 7 years may travel in the front seat, provided they travel in a booster seat.
Can I still use the additional seat (dickie seat) that I have in the back of my station wagon ?
Yes, additional seats are able to be used by children aged 4 years and over provided the seat is suitable for the children's height and weight and a lap-sash seatbelt or seatbelt with a child safety harness is used. Warning: Child restraints or booster seats cannot be used on additional seats, therefore children travelling in the additional seating position are not offered any side impact protection.
Can I use a booster cushion instead of a booster seat ?
Yes, you can use a booster cushion if it complies with Australian Standards. We recommend to use a booster seat with high back and side wings wherever possible as they provide a higher level of safety in some types of crashes.
Can I use an accessory child safety harness with a booster seat ?
Yes, an accessory child safety harness, sometimes called an ‘H’ harness, can be used in conjunction with a booster seat for children aged between 4 and 7 years. They can also be used to secure a child when they have outgrown their booster seat, and for additional safety where only a lap seatbelt is available. We strongly recommend that, wherever possible, booster seats be used with lap-sash seatbelts rather than lap only belts with an accessory child safety harness.
Can I use an integrated booster cushion/seat ?
Yes, an integrated (or integral) booster cushion is forward facing and is built into some vehicles by the vehicle manufacturer. The occupant minimum and maximum weight restrictions for integrated booster cushions are specified in the vehicle owner’s manual. An integrated booster cushion is considered to be an approved booster seat and is therefore able to be used by a child aged 4 years and over. It is recommended to keep using the integrated seat until the child reaches the maximum weight restriction as specified in the vehicle owner’s manual. Note - the integrated booster cushion must comply with clause 34.8 of the Australian Design Rule 34/01 - Child Restraint Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchor Fittings. Please refer to your vehicle owner's manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer to identify if your integrated booster cushion meets these requirements.
Can we use a child restraint or booster seat from overseas ?
No. Child restraints and booster seats purchased overseas do not comply with the Australian Standard for child restraints: AS/NZS 1754:2010 so using them in Australia is illegal. The Australian Standard is one of the most stringent child restraint standards in the world.
Does the booster seat have to be anchored ?
If the booster seat comes with a tether strap it must be anchored to the child restraint anchorage point. However, there are some booster seats that meet the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1754) that do not come with a tether strap and therefore do not need to be anchored in the vehicle.
Are booster cushions (no seat back) illegal to use?
No they are legal to use, BUT they have been deleted from the current Australian Standard because they provide no side impact protection in a crash. So booster cushions are still legal to use, however booster seats with high backs and side wings are recommended as they provide a higher level of safety in some types of crashes.
If I can’t fit my three children in three restraints in the back, is it OK if one sits in the front ?
Yes. If there are two child restraints or booster seats in the rear and there is not enough space to put a third restraint in the rear seat then a passenger aged 4 years to less than 7 years can travel in a booster seat in the front seat. You will need to use a booster seat that does not have a tether strap.
If my child is in a booster seat do they also need to be in a child safety harness ?
No, booster seats do not come with a child safety harness because they are designed to be used with a lap-sash seat belt. We recommend using a child safety harness only in situations where it is not possible to replace your lap-only seat belt with a lap-sash seat belt.
Is it ok for my child to travel without a booster seat from 7 years of age ?
This depends on the height of your child. An adult lap-sash seat belt is suitable for people with a minimum height of about 145 cm. A child should continue using a booster seat until they have outgrown it. The road rules require a child aged 7 years to under 16 years to travel in a ‘suitable approved booster seat’ or ‘a suitable seat belt’. Children who are not yet tall enough to use a adult seat belt tend to slump into the vehicle seat so that their legs bend at the seat edge. This means the lap part of the seat belt is positioned too high on their stomach and they are at risk of injury in a crash.
Is it possible to fit three restraints across the back seat of my vehicle ?
Yes, but this depends on the restraints and the size of your car. There is considerable variation in the types of child restraints and booster seats available. It will depend on the type chosen, the combination of restraints, and the make and model of your vehicle. You can also visit a restraint fitting station for advice. Don’t forget - you will need to find out whether there are enough child restraint anchorage points in your vehicle with which to fit the restraints. If you are unsure where the anchorage points are located in your vehicle, refer to the vehicle owner’s manual under the section of 'Child Restraints' or 'Child Restraint Anchorage Systems'. Never use a luggage tie down point instead of the child restraint anchorage point.
What if I travel interstate, do they have the same laws ?
Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have or are implementing the changes in the current Australian Standard 1754:2010. It is recommended that you use a child restraint whenever when travelling interstate. If you are unsure, check your state's road authority.
What is a booster seat ?
Booster seats have high backs and sides to provide protection for children in side impact crashes as well as providing support for when they are sleeping. They are suitable for children from around four years of age up to seven years of age. Booster seats are used with an adult lap/sash seatbelt. The seat belt must be correctly adjusted to protect the child in the instance of a crash.
What is a convertible booster seat ?
A convertible booster seat combines the features of a forward facing restraint for children from age six months to four years of age with the features of a booster seats for children aged four to under seven years of age. These restraints come with an inbuilt harness and a top tether strap.
What is a forward facing restraint ?
This type of restraint is to be used in a forward-facing position with built-in harness once the child’s shoulders are above the lower shoulder height marker (approx 6 months of age). When the child’s shoulders reach height marker (approx 4 years of age) the child can safely move to a booster seat.
What is a rearward facing restraint (also known as a baby capsule) ?
This is better known as a capsule or infant carrier. It is a restraint that must be used for children (babies) from birth to around six months of age, which is held in place by a seat belt and the top tether strap with the baby facing the rear of the vehicle. All have an inbuilt harness system. Rearward facing restraints should be used in a rearward-facing position until the infant’s shoulders meet the height marker. Rearward facing is the safest way to transport your child so keep your baby rearward-facing as long as possible and don’t move to another car seat too quickly.
What type of restraint should I use for my child?
You should use a restraint that is appropriate for your child’s age and size. It must be an approved child restraint that complies with Australian Standards (AS/NZS1754) and is marked as complying with the Australian Standard. Advice on how to select an appropriate child restraint can be found on our website in the 'safe travel' section. You can compare different car seats in the section 'products'.
What’s the difference between an inbuilt harness and a child safety harness ?
An inbuilt harness is made at the time of manufacture as part of the child restraint. A child safety harness is purchased as a separate item. A child safety harness is attached to a child restraint anchorage point and is sometimes used with a booster seat or lap-only seat belt. A child safety harness is difficult to fit correctly. A child safety harness should not be used with a booster seat if a lap-sash seat belt is available.
Who is responsible for ensuring a child is restrained in an approved restraint ?
The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring all children aged under seven years of age are restrained in appropriate, standards approved restraints.

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