Can I buy a second-hand child restraint?
It’s okay to buy a second-hand restraint, but you can’t guarantee that it’s completely safe, or that it hasn’t been involved in a crash.
If you’re going to purchase one, check the following:
- Does it comply to Australian Standard 1754? Some may be approved under Australian Standard E46 – these are older and are likely to be unsuitable.
- Over time, plastic and fittings used on restraints can deteriorate, so look for one that’s under 10 years old. Plus, the newer it is, the more likely it is to comply to more recent safety standards.
- Look for signs of wear, like cracks, fading, frayed straps or parts that don’t work.
- Do you know the person selling the restraint? We recommend buying from a reliable source.
What are the shoulder height markers on my restraint for?
These markers make it easier to determine if a child restraint is suitable for a child and when they may need to progress to the next type or convert the seat. You can check out our shoulder height marker fact sheet for more details.
My car doesn’t have anchorage points – what do I do?
As part of Australian Design Rules, cars sold in Australia need to have child restraint anchorage points. However, if your vehicle is older or is classified as a commercial vehicle, it may not comply. The following list shows you when the change was implemented for different vehicle types:
- Sedans from July 1976
- Station wagons from January 1977
- Hatchbacks after January 1977
- Light passenger vans (up to 12 seats) from January 1986
- Four-wheel drives after July 1990.
Commercial vehicles – like vans and utes – aren’t required to have anchorage points, although some will have them these days.
If your car doesn’t have anchorage points, you can get them fitted by specialist businesses, such as:
8 Barfield Cres, Edinburgh North
4 Deacon Ave, Richmond
McIver Motor Trimmers
23 Seville Ave, Gulfview Heights
Do I need to replace my child restraint if I’ve been in a crash?
Regardless of whether a child was in a restraint at the time of crash or not, or whether damage is obvious or not, the Australian Standards advise you to destroy the entire restraint if it’s been involved in a severe crash. So what’s considered severe? Essentially, if the main body structure of the vehicle is distorted in any way. Your insurance company or crash repairer can help you make the assessment.
Can I put my child in the front seat of my car?
By law, any child under 4 must be seated in the rear of the vehicle, where it has 2 or more rows of seats. Kids aged between 4 and 7 can sit up front, but only if all the rear seats are taken by other children up to the same age.
If it’s not possible to fit another child restraint between 2 others, then a child between 4 and 7 can go up front, but they still need to be in the appropriate restraint. Alternatively, if you only have 1 row of seats, a child can be in this row provided they’re correctly restrained. The restraint must be fitted to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Rearward facing restraints must not be used in a position fitted with an airbag. Child restraint manufacturers warn against using restraints in positions fitted with airbags and most vehicle manufacturers warn against placing children under the age of 12 in these positions. As airbags are designed for the safety of adults, these warnings should be followed.
I have an old car that doesn’t have seatbelts. Can my kids travel in it?
Although an exemption exists for some passengers travelling in vehicles without seatbelts, children under the age of 7 aren’t allowed to travel in a vehicle without seatbelts. If a child is required to travel in such a vehicle, then seatbelts and possibly anchorage points (depending on the child restraint being used) will need to be fitted.
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