Car Seat Safety

Taking your little one out on their first car ride can be daunting. You may find yourself driving a little slower and checking the backseat often to make sure your child is ok . It is normal to feel anxious and it may be a few drives before you start to feel relaxed driving with your new passenger. To help you feel less anxious NESST recommends the following:

Have your car seat installed by a professional. Also known as a child restraint station these are individuals trained in the proper installation of child seats. They can also be a handy source of information should you have any questions regarding child seat safety. RACV’s website has a list of these stations, just click here

Your child should remain rear facing in their seat for as long as possible. For information and videos on choosing the right restraint, click here to read what VicRoads recommends on choosing the right restraint.

NESST advises against using aftermarket products such as pillows when securing your child as they can compromise their safety. A blanket tucked in after they have already been restrained for their warmth is all that is recommended. As children are always changing and growing we recommend you check how your child fits into the seat regularly as your child seat may need adjusting or due to be replaced. Refer again to VicRoads by clicking here to choose the right restraint and to help you decide if it is time to upgrade.

Your child will likely still need a harness or booster seat for some time. State laws can vary but the Royal children's hospital recommends, and VicRoads and NSW Gov require children remain in boosters until they are 145cm (about 4.76 ft) in height. In Australia the average child will not meet this height requirement until the age of eleven. Its important to remember that your child's need for a booster seat is not dependent on their age.

References: The Royal Childrens Hospital, 2019. Accessed 18 February 2024.