Car seats

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Happy baby buckled into rear-facing car seat
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Car seats are designed to ensure that children are safe when travelling by car. However, car seats only provide proper protection when they are used correctly and children are adequately restrained in an appropriate car seat. While most parents use car seats, a substantial majority do not use them properly, putting their child’s safety at risk.

There are many things to consider when buying, installing and securing your child in a car seat. Depending on whether you have a newborn, toddler or older child, the laws surrounding the car seat you require, the type of car seat you should purchase, and how you should install and use your car seat are all different.


Laws governing car seats in Australia

  • Laws governing how car seats are manufactured and sold
  • An outline of the way testing of car seats is conducted in Australia
  • The ages children should be using different types of car seats and child restraints
  • Laws regarding the correct positioning and use of car seats for Australian drivers travelling with children


Types of car seats

  • Information about the different types of car seats and the ages for which they are appropriate
  • Rear facing car restraints for babies
  • Forward facing car seats for toddlers and young children
  • Booster seats and cushions for older children


Choosing the right car seat

  • How to choose a safe car seat that meets Australian guidelines
  • How to choose a car seat that suits your child’s size and age
  • Determining when it is time to buy a new car seat
  • Disposing of a used car seat safely


Installing a car seat correctly

  • Selecting the correct position for your child’s car seat
  • How to correctly install a car seat
  • Identifying ISOFIX anchorage points
  • How you can fit multiple restraints in the one car safely


Using a car seat correctly

  • Why you should use a child seat
  • Making sure that your child fits properly in their seat
  • Restraining your child correctly in a car seat when travelling
  • Car seat accessories that should not be used because they present safety risks


Driving safely with children

  • Driving safely with children requires planning to prevent distractions
  • Teach your children about driving safely, agree on driving rules, and take regular breaks
  • Be prepared with games, snacks and conversation

Activity: Buckle Up! Learning to use a seatbelt

  • Teach your child the importance of using a seatbelt
  • An activity you can do with children 2-5 years of age
  • An inexpensive activity that doesn’t require any new materials to be bought

Child car seat checklist

  • Which car seat does my child need?
  • When should I change my child’s car seat?
  • Where should I put my child’s car seat?
  • Get it right at a glance


  1. Neuroscience Research Australia. Babies to benefit from NeuRA research. 2011 (cited 23 May 2017). Available from: [URL link]
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Date Created: August 27, 2015 Date Modified: February 15, 2018