shutterstock_107832203-001As your kids grow older they will start to outgrow their car seat or restraint. This can lead to some confusion about what to use for the next stage and when your child can or should stop using a restraint.

The law is clear. All children under 7 years of age must sit in an Australian-standard-approved Restraint. An approved child restraint will display an Australian Standards Tick logo.

Once your child has outgrown its baby capsule or restraint there are two different levels of seats until your child reaches 7 years of age.

6 Months – 4 Years

Child may be in a forward facing child restraint with inbuilt harness until they outgrow the restraint by height (or weight if it is an older seat).

4-7 Years

Child may be in a booster seat with an adult seat belt until they outgrow the booster by height (or weight if it is an older seat).

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Second-hand child restraints

Purchasing multiple restraints for multiple kids can become an expensive exercise. Whilst Kidsafe do not recommend using or purchasing a second-hand restraint, if this is an option you want to pursue there are a few things to remember:

  • The restraint must be under 10 years old. The straps can start to deteriorate after this amount of time so to ensure they work properly, make sure the restraint is the right age.
  • The Australian Standards Sticker must be visible.
  • An instructions label must be visible and the restraint must have an instructions book (this is often tucked into a pouch on one of the straps).
  • Do not use a restraint that has been in an accident or submerged in floodwaters.
  • There must be no wear and tear on the straps or buckles; and
  • Ensure you check that the adjusters still work correctly.

Source: www.kidsafeqld.com.au and www.tmr.qld.gov.au

At what age can children sit in the front seat in Queensland?

As your kids get older and you need to fit more and more kids in your car it is also important to know where they are allowed to sit.

Cars with more than one row of seats:

  • Babies and children up to 4 years old must NOT sit in the front seat.
  • Children aged 4-7 years can only sit in the front seat if all other seats are occupied by children under 7 years of age.
  • Children over 7 years can sit in the front seat with no booster or restraint.

Cars with only one row of seats:

  • Children of any age can sit in the front seat as long as they are properly restrained.

Penalties in Queensland for not having a child restraint correctly installed

Our kids are precious and their safety is our top priority. The penalties for not having your child correctly restrained reflects this with a $341 fine and 3 demerit points.

If you have any questions about the choice, purchase or fitting of your baby restraint or capsule you can contact Kidsafe on ph (07) 3854 1829, or check out their website at www.kidsafeqld.com.au. You can also find useful information on the Queensland Transport website.

NOTE: This information is current as at 17 September 2014. For specific and up-to-date information, we always recommend contacting Kidsafe or the Department of Main Road in Queensland, as laws can and do change.

BABIES IN QLD - 

There are some parts of parenting that are so important to get right, and having the correct car seat fitted properly for your baby is one of them. It sometimes seems like the Parental Grapevine has new theories on the laws for car seats all the time, so let’s get the facts right.

Birth – 6 Months

  • Baby must be in a rearward facing baby capsule or rearward facing convertible infant restraint. (These are available for hire from Kidsafe)

6 Months – 1 Year

  • Rearward facing restraint or forward facing convertible child restraint

Rearward facing child car seats in Queensland for babies

Kidsafe recommends that babies remain in their rearward facing restraint until they outgrow it (by height or weight) and/or they can self-support their head and reach the minimum shoulder height of the forward facing seat.

Your child restraint must comply with the Australian Standard (AS1754 or AS/NZ1754). An Australian Standards tick logo will be visible on all approved child restraints.

Second-hand child restraints

Whilst Kidsafe do not recommend purchasing second hand car seats in Queensland for babies, there are a few things to remember if you do decide to do so:

  • The restraint must be under 10 years old. The straps can start to deteriorate after this amount of time so to ensure they work properly, make sure the restraint is the right age.
  • The Australian Standards Sticker must be visible.
  • An instructions label must be visible and the restraint must have an instructions book (this is often tucked into a pouch on one of the straps).
  • Do not use a restraint that has been in an accident or submerged in floodwaters.
  • There must be no wear and tear on the straps or buckles; and
  • Ensure you check that the adjusters still work correctly.

Source: www.kidsafeqld.com.au and www.tmr.qld.gov.au

Correct fitting of baby car seats

It is also important to make sure that your car restraint or capsule is correctly fitted to your vehicle. Ensure you read the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your restraint. Check your Vehicle Owner’s Manual to locate the anchor points in your car. For something as important as this it may be necessary to bring in the professionals. For a fee you can have this professionally fitted by Kidsafe or at an RACQ Vehicle Inspection Station.

 

 

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