Parents should choose the baby seat or child restraint that provides the highest level of protection and make sure it is fit correctly by an approved fitter.
As both mechanics and parents, our approved child and baby seat fitters at Malvern Automotive Repairs see far too many baby seat or child restraints that have been fitted into vehicles incorrectly. Common problems occur when a child is too young and/or too small for the baby seat or child restraint. Often unqualified fitters install baby seats or child restraints incorrectly, putting children in grave danger.
You should always select a baby seat or child restraint approved to the Australian/New Zealand Standard. These baby seat or child restraints will be marked with the Standards Australia 'tick-mark' and a statement of compliance.
Baby seat or child restraints are designed to match a child's height and weight. When you buy a baby seat or child restraint you need to consider:
- The size and weight of your child
- If the baby seat or child restraints will fit in your vehicle
- Avoid buying second-hand baby seat or child restraints if possible
- Keep your child in the most appropriate baby seat or child restraints suitable for their size and age. Only move them to the next level of baby seat or child restraint when they no longer physically fit
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing a baby seat or child restraint and place your child in it. Incorrectly using a baby seat or child restraint or using a baby seat or child restraint that is not suitable for your child's size puts your child at a higher risk of serious injury or death
- Only use a baby seat or child restraint when you know its history or if it has been obtained from a reliable source.
Do not use the baby seat or child restraint if it:
- Has been involved in an accident
- Has worn webbing (straps)
- Is bent
- Is rusted
- Has worn buckles
- The attachment points in the plastic shell are cracked or discoloured from age or over-exposure to the sun