child car seat
8kg to 18kg
(6 months to 4 years)
Around 70cm to 100cm tall
Based on the age and weight you entered, your child should be restrained in a child car seat. The Victorian Road Rules require that all children between 6 months and under 4 years must use an infant restraint or a child car seat. If, however, your child is too tall for this restraint (taller than 100 centimetres), there is a provision in the legislation to move a child into a booster seat and you may want to seek the advice of a professional child restraint fitter.
Child car seats are forward facing and are not designed for use with vehicle seats that face sidewards or rearwards.
Child car seats are fitted using the car seat belt and a tether strap that attaches to an anchor point. Some child car seats recline, which is useful if the child wants to sleep. If you need to move the restraint between cars regularly, it is a good idea to get one that is light and easy to install properly.
There are three types of child car seats available:
- single purpose seats – can only be used in the forward facing position
- convertible dual purpose infant/child restraints – designed to be used as a child car seat in the forward facing position, but able to be used in the rearward facing position for a baby up to 9 or 12kg in weight.
- child car seat/booster seat combinations – these can be used as a car seat until the child reaches 18kg, then the harness straps can be tucked away inside the seat and it becomes a booster with a lap/sash belt.
While convertible restraints can be used for a little longer, some convertible restraints may be safer in one position over another. RACV recommends that parents refer to the latest CREP results when choosing a restraint.
restraint safety tips
- Approximately 70% of child restraints are not installed correctly. A child restraint that is not fitted properly could result in serious injury or even death in a crash. It is strongly recommended that new restraints are professionally fitted by a trained child restraint fitter, so that parents can be shown how to fit the restraint correctly.
- Child car seats with side wings offer more protection in the event of a crash.
- Check the seat belt and tether strap are taut and firm every time the restraint is used.
- Adjust the car seat harness straps as a child grows, which includes moving the shoulder straps so they are above or level with the child’s shoulders.
- If a child car seat is to be used in a position where there is an airbag, check the car owner’s manual for advice.
- Do not place a child restraint in the front seat of a vehicle.
- Learn about the laws and standards on child restraints. Click here for further information.
- For advice on fitting the restraint correctly see: Fit the restraint correctly or RACV member's can contact the Motoring AdvisoryLine for free motoring advice
- Tips on how to use the restraint correctly
- Download RACV’s latest Child Restraint Evaluation Program results