fit the restraint correctly
Approximately 70% of child restraints are not installed correctly. A child restraint that has not been fitted properly can result in serious injury or even the death of a child in a crash.
Many parents/carers fit a child restraint into their car themselves believing that it is easy. However it is a skilled task and a restraint fitter can show you how to fit the restraint correctly. The restraint should be at least professionally checked before placing your child in the car.
Rearward facing restraints, forward facing restraints, and some booster seats need to be attached via a top tether strap to an anchor point in the car. Typically, the anchor point can be found on the parcel shelf in sedans, and on the floor area in station wagons, vans and hatchbacks. Some station wagons may have the anchor point on the inside roof area. Depending when a car was manufactured this will be either a special anchor bolt or anchor fitting. For the location of anchor points in your vehicle, refer to your owner's manual. Ensure that a luggage hook is not confused with an anchor point.
restraint fitting stations
RACV in partnership with VicRoads has set up a network of restraint fitting stations throughout Victoria to help with installation of child restraints. There are currently 61 restraint fitting stations across Victoria. For a small charge, a trained installer can fit your restraint or check it to ensure it is installed correctly.
Tip: Ask the fitter for advice, so that you can be sure of getting it right if you need to fit the restraint in another vehicle.
Restraint Fitting Stations can also make necessary modifications that may be required, in order to fit restraints into vehicles not equipped with an anchor point. They will advise what is needed and what costs are involved.
protect your child – ensure their restraint is fitted correctly
- Don’t fit the restraint yourself. Use a Restraint Fitting Station for advice on installing and using the restraint.
- If possible, fit the restraint to the centre position of the rear seat, because it will offer better protection in a side impact crash.
- Always keep the instructions that came with the restraint in a safe place, like the glove box. This will help if you need to know how to adjust straps or fit the restraint again.
- Every time the restraint is used check that the top tether strap (if there is one) is firmly connected to the anchor point.
- Every time the restraint is used make sure there are no twists in any straps or belts, and that these are taut and firm, but not too tight and rigid.
- For more information about keeping your child safe during each and every car journey, you can download RACV's Using restraints: getting it right every trip fact sheet.