Forward Facing Child Restraints

Infographic for RACV tips on forward facing child restraints


Forward facing restraints should be used once a child no longer fits into their rearward facing restraint. This can be checked by seeing if your child’s shoulders fit between the shoulder height markers clearly labelled on the restraint.

There are three types of forward facing restraints available:

  • Single purpose restraint - can only be used in the forward facing position
  • Convertible rearward/forward facing restraint - can be used in the rearward facing position then adjusted to the forward facing position for infants who are too big for the rearward mode
  • Forward facing restraint/booster seat combinations - used as a forward facing restraint until at least age 4, then the seat can be used as a booster with a lap/sash seatbelt.

Convertible restraints can be used for a little longer. Keep in mind that they might be safer in one position over another. Babies are safer if they stay in their rearward facing restraint for as long as possible. You should only move your child to a forward facing child restraint when they have outgrown their rearward facing child restraint. Just because a child has turned 6 months old does not mean they are ready to travel in a forward facing child restraint.

Monthly safety checks for forward facing seats

Once your child has outgrown the highest slot of their rearward facing restraint, they can be moved into a larger rearward facing restraint or forward facing child restraint.

The harness strap slot nearest to the child’s shoulders, but not more than 2.5cm below the shoulders, should be used. When your child has outgrown the highest slot, they can be moved into a larger forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness OR a booster seat. This will depend on your child’s size.

Not the right restraint for your child? Find out more about the other options available.