Children aged 0 to 7 are required to sit in an approved car seat known as a child restraints to ensure their safety and to protect them against serious injury in the event of a car accident.
This information is taken from the Queensland Department of Transport page on Child Restraints.
It is important that you understand the laws governing child restraints specific to your child’s age. These rules are important in ensuring your child’s safety should the worst happen.
All children under the age of 7 must sit in an age and size appropriate seat with the restraint securely fastened. Ensure that your child restraint has an AS sticker have been tested and approved as meeting standard AS/NZS 1754.
It is recommended that the car seat is less than 10 years old and that it has the sticker which outlines when it was manufactured. It is important that you get the manufacturers instructions which clearly outline how to use the seat correctly.
Don’t use a car seat that has bene in a car crash as it may have been weakened on impact and its safety may be compromised.
TYPES OF CHILD RESTRAINTS
The type of child restraint you install will depend mainly on the child’s age, but you may need to consider the child’s size as well.
Babies up to 6 months old
Babies up to 6 months of age must be in an approved rear-facing restraint that is properly fastened and adjusted. We recommend babies stay in a rear-facing restraint for as long as their size allows.
You can hire a rear-facing restraint from Kidsafe Queensland.
Babies and children—6 months to 4 years
Babies and children from 6 months and up to 4 years must be in an approved child restraint that is properly adjusted and fastened. The child restraint may be rear-facing or forward-facing with a built-in harness. However, we recommend babies and children stay in a rear-facing restraint for as long as their size allows.
Children—4 to 7 years
Children aged 4 years and up to 7 years may be in an approved child restraint that is forward-facing with a built-in harness that is properly adjusted and fastened. They may also be in an approved booster seat secured with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or a fastened and adjusted H-Harness. However, research has indicated that the booster seat with a H-Harness option provides a lower level of safety in some types of crashes.
A booster cushion is a booster seat without the back and side wings. A child aged 4 years and up to 7 years may use an Australian standard approved booster cushion, secured with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or a fastened and adjusted H-Harness.
Booster cushions are legal to use providing they complied with the Australian standard AS/NZS 1754 at the time of manufacture. The booster cushion should have a sticker showing approval and a date stamp for when it was manufactured. We recommend child booster cushions be less than 10 years old.
Children 7 years and over
Children who are 7 years and over may sit in a standard seat with an adult seatbelt, or an approved booster seat/cushion secured with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or an H-Harness. Or, they may be in an approved child restraint that is forward-facing with a built-in harness that is properly adjusted and fastened.
WHEN TO MOVE YOUR CHILD TO THE NEXT TYPE OF RESTRAINT
Recently approved child restraints will have markings on the seat that show the upper and lower seated shoulder height of the child. You can move your child to the next type of restraint when their seated shoulder height is above the top mark on the restraint.
For more information visit https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/children/when-to-move
HOW TO INSTALL A CHILD CAR RESTRAINT
It is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and have the car seat fitted correctly. Each seat and brand will have a specific set of instructs which must be followed. If you bought your car seat second hand we recommend you visit the manufacturer’s website to obtain the installation instructions.
You can also contact Kidsafe Queensland and make an appointment for installation.
WHERE SHOULD YOUR CHILD SIT?
Cars with more than 1 row of seats
- Babies and children up to 4 years old must not sit in the front seat
- Children aged 4 and up to 7 years can only sit in the front seat if all other seats are occupied by children under 7 years of age
- Children 7 years and over can sit in the front seat.
Cars with only 1 row of seats
- Children of any age can sit in the front seat as long as they are properly restrained.
- If a car has a passenger airbag, a rear-facing child restraint shouldn’t be used in the front seat if the restraint is positioned close to the airbag.
For more information visit https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/children/where-to-sit
In addition to the safety risks, if a child is not in an approved child restraint that is properly fastened and adjusted, you can be fined $391 and incur 3 demerit points for each child that is not properly restrained. Double demerit points will apply for second or subsequent child restraint or seatbelt offences committed within 1 year after an earlier offence.
For more information visit https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/children
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