Recommended Child Restraints
Birth to 6 Months
Rearward facing child restraints
Children under 6 months of age must use an approved rearward facing child restraint and travel only in the rear row of a motor vehicle. If your vehicle does not have a rear row, this does not apply. Note: When using in a single row vehicle, such as a utility or van, a rearward facing child restraint cannot be used in the front seat where there is a passenger airbag.
A rearward facing child restraint gives support and protection to the child’s head and neck in a crash. RAA recommends keeping a child rearward facing until around 12 months of age.
Standards Australia approves a range of restraints suitable for newborns. Some of these restraints are dedicated infant restraints that accommodate the child up to approximately 6 or 12 months of age (depending on the restraint) and others (convertible child safety seats) can be used as an infant restraint up to approximately 6 or 12 months of age (depending on the restraint) and then convert into a forward facing safety seat up to approximately 4 years of age.
RAA recommends using a Baby Safety Capsule for the first 6 months and then moving the child into a convertible child safety seat that will accommodate the child rearward until approximately 12 months of age. When using a convertible child safety seat, use the seat rearward facing until the child reaches the maximum weight for this mode (older seats) or meets the shoulder height marker for the forward facing mode. Just because a child has turned 6 months of age does not mean the child is ready to travel forward facing.
Restraints made to the 2010 standard and later are no longer rated with weight. Shoulder height markers provide guidance of when to change modes and when to graduate to the next restraint. If you are not sure about what size child fits the restraint or when to convert the seat to the next mode, check the restraint manual for guidance.
Dedicated Infant Restraints
RAA recommends: Safe-n-Sound Baby Safety Capsule
Birth to approximately 6 months of age
Independent testing over a number of years has shown the Baby Safety Capsule to be the safest restraint for newborn babies. RAA recommends using a Baby Safety Capsule for the first 6 months before moving the child into a rearward facing convertible safety seat.
As a dedicated infant restraint the Safe-n-Sound Baby Safety Capsule is simple to use and has gained outstanding performance in independent crash testing over a number of years. Its design allows the baby to lie in a more natural position as opposed to convertible safety seats and travel systems that sit more upright particularly in vehicles with heavy contouring.
In the event of a crash the bassinette drops into the base and reduces the impact on the child. The capsule features a specially designed harness that caters for the small shoulders of newborns.
It also has the convenience of allowing the baby to be removed from the vehicle in the carry basket. Its overall compact size also makes the Safe-n-Sound Baby Safety Capsule readily compatible with most types of vehicles.
Convertible Child Safety Seats
Convertible child safety seats are also rated for use from birth. Some will accommodate a child up to around 6 months of age rearward facing whilst others are rated to around 12 months of age rearward facing. Once the child has reached the maximum limit for the rearward facing mode the seat can then be turned forward facing until around 4 years of age.
All convertible seats sold by RAA Shops are rated to 12 months rearward facing as research shows that best practice is to keep children rearward facing to around this age.
More information on convertible child safety seats can be found here.
All recommended restraints can be purchased at any RAA shop or online.
RAA’s fitting service is available by appointment by calling the RAA Safety Centre on 08 8202 4592 or via email.
Motoring & Road Safety