What are the rules around car seats

Car seats save children’s lives – and it’s important to make sure that your child is properly strapped in before heading out. Did you know that there are laws and regulations around your child being properly buckled up?

Child seat laws in Australia are enforced by the individual states and territories. All jurisdictions require that children’s car seats meet the compulsory sections of the Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754. So what are the rules?

  • In Australia, children under 6 months must use a rear-facing car seat with an inbuilt seat harness. 
  • Between 6 months old and 4 years old, children can use either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat with an inbuilt seat harness.
  • Children between 4 years and 7 years old must sit in forward facing child restraints (booster seat or car seat)  with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or child safety harness.
  • After 7 years old, depending on their height, children should use their booster seat with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or a regular vehicle’s car seat and seatbelt.
  • Seatbelts are not recommended for any individual shorter than 145cm.

It’s important to keep up with your growing child’s needs – when they outgrow one stage you need to move them into the next stage.

Car seat rules are truly based around the child’s size – so if they are smaller than the recommended age to go to the next stage, then it’s best to leave them in their current seat.

What happens if you get into a car accident?

If you’ve had an accident with your child in their car seat, then it’s safer to opt for a new car seat. Damage to their seat may not be visible and the seat may fail to protect against any other impact. 

Need help after a car accident? We’ll help you 

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