A sleeping baby in a car seat.

Baby car seats and child restraints

The key things to know about baby and child car seats for a safe journey

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What’s the most suitable car restraint?

Choosing the right baby car seat or child restraint depends on your child’s age and size. The Child Restraints Law outlines that children aged:

  • under 6 months must use a rearward-facing restraint
  • 6 months to 4 years must use either a rearward- or forward-facing restraint
  • 4 to 7 years must use either a forward-facing restraint or booster seat
  • For 7 years and older its safest to use a booster seat until they've outgrown it, then use an adult seatbelt.

While the law specifies the minimum, it’s safest to only move your child to the next type of restraint once they outgrow their current restraint. 

Things to consider for your baby car seat or child restraint

Meets legal regulation

A sticker will show that a restraint meets the Australian standard. It’s illegal to use overseas models and unsafe to use seats over 10 years old.

Your child’s age and size

The law guides which restraint is suitable based on a child’s age, but a child should remain in a particular restraint until they’ve outgrown it.

Safety ratings

The Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) assesses the protection rating of car seats above legal requirements and provides information on ease of use. 

Proper installation

A restraint that isn’t properly installed can lead to serious injury or death in a crash. For professional installation, find a restraint fitter near you.

Video resources

Information guides

Translated guides on using child restraints