It’s the holiday season and one of the busiest times of the year on the road. If you have children travelling with you in the car, it’s important that they are using the correct restraint. A child who is properly secured in an approved child car seat is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.
Here are some handy tips from the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) to help you choose the right car seat for your child.
• Children up to the age of six months must be secured in an approved rearward facing restraint.
• Children aged from six months old but under four years old must be secured in either a rear or forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness.
• Children under four years old cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows.
• Children aged from four years old but under seven years old must be secured in a forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat.
• Children aged from four years old but under seven years old cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in an approved child restraint or booster seat.
• Children aged from seven years old but under 16 years old who are too small to be restrained by a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened are strongly recommended to use an approved booster seat.
• Children in booster seats must be restrained by a suitable lap and sash type approved seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened, or by a suitable approved child safety harness that is properly adjusted and fastened.
If you’re not sure which child car seat is the right one for your child, click here to find and compare products.
The CREP, a consortium of government agencies and motorist organisations, who share a common interest in improving safety for children travelling in vehicles have just released new ratings for 6 child car seats. Click here for more information on the latest ratings.
Old child car seats
If your child car seat has been handed down from friends or relatives and is more than 10 years old, the CREP recommends not using it. Additionally, it should not be used if the seat has cracks, frayed straps or any other damage.