Car Restraints – Do you know the rules?

kids in the car

Car restraints.  Love them or hate them, they are law in Australia.

As a mumma to 2 boys, with two cars, we are constantly swapping seats between, changing who sits in the middle, who sits by which window.  Honestly, it can get a bit tedious!  Now throw in that our eldest is in a different seat to his brother.  It starts getting even more confusing!

But it’s safety so you just have to do it.  Even if it means climbing in the boot to attach the anchor points.

I remember when my eldest was still rear facing at 2.5 years and everyone thought we were crazy!  He didn’t know any different.  It was really important to me to have him rear face for as long as possible.

And then when our youngest screamed during every single car trip no matter what we did.  Seriously, I didn’t leave the house unless absolutely necessary.  Living out of town, walking simply wasn’t an option!  But because he was so upset everytime we even went near the car, we turned him to forward facing at 6 months.

It broke my heart.  He still screamed, but not as much.  It did make going places easier.

Anyway … as a Mum who is sometimes disorganised, sometimes not, I thought I’d share with you the current National child restraint laws, so you can make sure that you and your restraints are compliant and most importantly, safe!

Seriously, it’s good to know these things, especially if you’re a first time mum (I remember asking all my Mumma friends with my eldest).  So we’ve done the homework for you!

Here are the State Guidelines as provided by Kidsafe WA.

  • Use a restraint which has been approved to the Australian Standards AS/NZS 1754 for child car restraints – you’ll find this info on the box at purchase.
  • Prior to 2011, restraints complying with AS/NZS 1754 use weight limits as guides for use.
  • From 2011 onward, restraints will start to use height as the guide for usage—they will have height markers on them with direction for correct usage.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the child car restraint you are using – I always keep the booklet in the map pocket in front of each seat so that’s it’s handy if I ever need to look something up.
  • Second hand restraints should be used with caution. You should be aware of the history of the restraint and be sure that the restraint has all the appropriate fittings. Any restraint that is more than 10 years old should not be used.  Great info if you are thinking of purchasing a seat from a buy & sell group on FB – and honestly, you can pick up a brand new seat fairly cheaply these days.  Sometimes it’s just not worth the risk.
  • Children are safest when travelling in the back row/rows of seats in the vehicle.
  • Do not move your child to the next restraint until they have outgrown it. Ensure your child has exceeded the maximum size limits of the restraints available for their age group before choosing to progress to the next stage of restraint.

If you’d like to read the National Restraint Laws, you’ll find them here.

As we are coming up to the festive season and we are all busy running around, it’s great to check the safety of your child restraints before things start to get really crazy.

Here’s to safe travel and safe kids.

Kate xx

Hire for Baby Busselton - Professional and licenced restraint fitters

Professional Restraint Fitting

Now, if you’re like me, and you’re never quite sure whether your seat is actually fitted correctly, then why not have it professionally fitted (you could even get it cleaned at the same time – seriously, what a brilliant idea!).  Head over and chat to the team at Hire for Baby Busselton & South West.  They have a fully equipped baby store & workshop so they help you choose the right seat and professionally fit it for you!

Brad & Jo are based in Busselton, but completely mobile and can even help you choose the right car seat for your child and have it delivered and fitted (that’s right, they don’t just hire).  Seriously handy Mummas!  Especially if you’ve got more than one child!

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