This is collection of best practical tips I have compiled over the years working as an accredited car seat fitter
These tips are not complex technical skills than you may need to fit a child restraint but rather simple practical tips which anyone can understand and implement
Need these safety tips as a handy brochure in Mentone call 0420 516 587
If you use a baby capsule, once it is outgrown, move your child to a rear-facing convertible restraint.
In an accident, a rear-facing restraint will cradle your child as they ride down the forces of the impact, greatly decreasing the chance of injury.
Older toddlers are perfectly comfortable in a rear-facing position, their feet touching the back of the seat is NOT an indicator of the need to turn forward facing
The New Australian Standards for Baby Carseats introduced in September 2014, introduced extended rear facing child restraints,
A 6 point harness will spread impact over a larger portion of a child’s body, reducing the impact on internal organs in an accident.
In September 2014, the new Australian standards were introduced. These new standards introduced ISOFIX compatible seats such as the Britax Trufix and Infa Kompressor II, but also introduced the G type child restraint.
The G type Child restraint allows parent to keep their keep children in an internal harness until and average age of 8 years of age. This means that once you turn your child forward facing then you do not need to worry about moving your child into a Booster seat. Currently There are three manufacturers which produce a G type seat; these are the Britax Maxi Guard, Infa Evolve and the Babylove EZYGrow.
Moving to an adult seat belt alone is one of the biggest “mistakes” made when it comes to child restraints. Adult seat belts are designed for adults.
The next mistake many parents make is using a H harness. The reason for this is that all testing in Australia is done with onlyt lap sash seat belts, secondly research has found that 100% of these restraints are not adjusted correctly or used correctly.
Children under 145-150cms tall should remain in booster seats. Children should meet the 5 step test before moving out of a booster.
It is recommended that child stay in an internal harness as long as possible, unfortunately many parents move their children into a booster seat at four years of age. This causes a number of problems especially if the children are below average height, meaning the sash part of the seat belt may be too close to the neck
This is why the G type child restraint was introduced into the Australian Standards meaning that you can now keep your child internally harnessed until 8 years of age.
Backless booster cushions also called bum boosters are no longer manufactured as they offer no side impact protection, unfortunately it is still possible to purchase these booster cushions online as they have not yet been made illegal.
Thankfully there is now a better alternative to Booster cushions, which is the untethered booster seat such as the Infa versatile offering better side protections and back support for children. Experts recommend that these untethered boosters are should only be used as an occasional use child restraint.
Check the date of manufacture on your restraints. Most manufacturers of Australian seats recommend destroying restraints 10 years from manufacture.
The reason for this is that; materials used degrade over time, and an expired restraint will not provide your child with an adequate level of protection. When Purchasing a Second hand Child restraint, you need to assertain that the restraint has not been involved in any accident as there may be micro fractures lowering the integrity of the restraint.
Loose or twisted harness straps, incorrect installations and moving up a category too soon all lower a child’s chances of surviving an accident.
The most expensive restraint on the market won’t save your child’s life if you do not use it correctly.
The best restraint is one that fits your car well, and is installed correctly, that is suitable for your child’s age and size, and that is properly adjusted to fit your child each and every time you get in the car.
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