Choose the right child restraint
Children need different restraints as they grow. The restraint must be the right size for the child, properly adjusted and fastened, and correctly fitted to the vehicle.
It is the law for all children up to the age of 7 to be in a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a vehicle.
Choosing the right child restraint for your child will depend on their age and size. See Child restraints, booster seats and seat belt readiness [PDF 3.9 Mb]
To keep your child safe, the restraint must also be properly adjusted, fastened, and fitted to the vehicle.
See the videos on how to use child restraints and booster seats.
To help keep your child safe, you need to answer the following questions.
Which type of restraint is right for my child?
There are road rules about the type of restraint a child must use. Depending on their age they may need to travel in a child restraint, a booster seat or an adult seat belt.
The type of restraint may also depend on the child's size.
There may be times when a child is too heavy or tall for the restraint recommended for their age. In these cases, a child is allowed to use the restraint for children in the next age group.
Choose from the following groups to help you choose the right restraint for your child:
Does the restraint meet the necessary standards?
Child restraints must meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard for child restraints (AS/NZS 1754). This standard is one of the most strict child restraint standards in the world.
When buying a child restraint, look for the standards approved sticker and make sure it meets the standard.
Which restraint is the safest?
A list of the current child restraints available in Australia can be found on the Child restraint product tables page. It shows that there are many brands and models of child restraints to choose from. All of the child restraints and booster seats on this list meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard for child restraints (AS/NZS 1754).
Some of these child restraints have been further tested by the child restraint evaluation program (CREP) which helps you to know which child restraints are the safest and easiest to use compared to the others.
If you are thinking of buying or borrowing a secondhand child restraint make sure it is no more than 10 years old and has never been in a serious crash. It must be in good condition with the buckles working properly, and have no signs of wear on the straps, or cracks or stress marks on the plastic shell.
How do I fit and adjust the restraint?
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are fitting a child restraint to your vehicle.
If you are unsure or need help, visit a child restraint fitting station.
Some restraints may be difficult to fit in smaller vehicles, or vehicles with contouring seats. If possible, try the restraint in your vehicle before you buy it.
If a restraint is not fitted or adjusted correctly, a child is at a higher risk of serious injury or death in a crash.