There are three main types of car child restraints which are appropriate at different times of your child’s life based on his weight.
|birth to 9kg||birth - 6 months (approx)||baby restraint or 'capsule'|
|8 - 18kg||6 months - 4 years (approx)||child restraint|
|14 - 26kg||2 - 7 years (approx)||booster seat and/or harness|
- It is the drivers responsibility to ensure that any child under 5 years is properly restrained by an approved child restraint.
- Children aged 5 to 7 years must use a child restraint if one is available.
- Plunket recommends that your baby stays in a rear facing restraint until they are one year old.
- It is generally accepted that children under the height of 148cm should be seated in an appropriate child restraint. The specific type of child restraint you need to use depends on the age and size of the child, but it is recommended that children be seated in rearward-facing child restraints for as long as possible, due to the increase in safety these restraints provide.
- Never put a child, in a rear-facing child restraint, in the front seat of a car that has a passenger airbag. The child could be seriously injured or killed if the airbag is activated.
- Use a booster seat for your child when he has outgrown the child restraint, as a booster will place him in the correct position to enable you to use the car’s seat belt correctly and safely.
- A harness will offer more protection than a standard seat belt to your child in the event of an accident, so consider using a harness even after he has outgrown his booster seat.
- While there are some car restraints that can be used for two age brackets, at this stage there is no restraint on the market that can do the job right through from birth through to 26kg.
- As a general rule if your child's head is higher than the back of the restraint it is time to move them into the next type.
- A child restraint must meet an approved standard. Child restraints certified for use in New Zealand will show an 'S' mark (New Zealand Standard NZS 1754), or a tick (Australian Standard AS 1754), or an 'E' mark (European Standard ECE 44). Restraints that comply with the United States Standard (FMVSS 213) must, in addition to any other markings, display the New Zealand Standard 'S' mark, to show they have been certified for use in New Zealand.
- Safe2Go technicians are trained to give advice adn help to parents regarding child restraints.
You can find more information on child car safety from:
Common Sense Advice. Share your experiences, tips and advice on the Kidspot Forum.
Last revised: Thursday, 19 June 2008
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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