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.
Because rearward facing travel is safer, you should only move your child to a forward facing child restraint when they have reached the maximum weight or height for their rearward facing child restraint. Just because a child has turned 6 months of age does not mean the child is ready to travel forward facing.
Standards Australia approve a range of restraints suitable for newborns. Some of these restraints are dedicated infant restraints that accommodate the child up to 9-12kg and others (Convertible child safety seat) convert from an infant restraint up to 9 or 12kgs and then into a forward facing safety seat up to 18kg.
Restraints made to the new 2010 standard are no longer rated with weight. Shoulder height markers provide guidance of when to change modes and when to graduate to the next restraint. Restraints made to the new standard are either rated to around 6 months rearward facing or 12months and then can be used forward facing until around 4 years of age.
Dedicated Infant restraint
Safe-n-Sound Baby Safety Capsule
(Birth to approximately 6 months of age)
Independent testing over a number of years have 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.
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 ranged by the RAA are rated to 12 months rearward facing as it is best practice to keep children rearward facing to around this age.
More information on convertible seats can be found here.
All recommended restraints can be purchased at any RAA shop or online.
RAA fitting service is available by appointment by calling 08 8202 4592 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.