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  • Writer's pictureChris Maher

What are the different types of child car seat restraints?

When it comes to both baby and child car seat installation, there are three main types.


These are the fitting of Rear Facing, Forward Facing and Booster Seats.


Rear Facing:


  1. Has in-built 5 or 6 point harness.

  2. Restrains infants facing the rear of the vehicle.

  3. Can be either a Capsule or Convertible Rear/Forward Facing Seat.

  4. Children can move to a forward facing car seat only when their shoulders reach the height marker on their rear facing car seat.


It is important to note that when installing a baby or child car seat that:


  • Capsules suit children from birth up to approximately six months old, with some capsules able to accommodate children up to 12 months old. Capsules have the unique convenience of being able to click in and out of the car (and some prams).   


  • Convertible Rear/Forward Facing Seats can be used for children from birth. While some Convertible Rear/Forward Facing Seats will accommodate a child to only rear face until approximately 12 months before needing to be turned forward facing, there are an increasing number of seats now that will accommodate a child to rear face until approximately 30 months, known as “extended rear facing”, before needing to be turned forward facing.


Rear Child Car Seat Installation

Forward Facing:


o   Has inbuilt 6 point harness.

o   Restrains children facing the front of the vehicle.

o   Can be a Convertible Rear/Forward Facing Seat, a Convertible Forward/Booster Seat or a Forward Facing Seat.


Some key attributes with forward facing child car seats are:


  • They can be used for children from 12 months (providing their shoulders reach the minimum height marker on their seat to turn) to approximately 4 years old. However, children can continue to use their seat until their shoulders reach the top height marker on their seat.


  • Convertible Forward/Booster Seats can be used in their forward facing setting for children from 12 months (providing their shoulders meet the entry height marker on the seat) to approximately 4 years old, when the seat then converts to Booster mode (providing their shoulders meet the height marker on their seat to convert to booster mode).


  • Forward Facing Child Car Seat Installation can be performed and used for children from about 12 months (providing their shoulders meet the entry height marker on the seat) to approximately 8 years old, or when their shoulders reach the upper height marker on their seat. This is known as an extended harnes seat.




Booster Seats:

Booster Child Car Seat Installation

o   Does not have an inbuilt harness.

o   Restrains children facing the front of the vehicle.

o   Has a backrest, raises the child, and adapts the vehicle’s seatbelt to better fit the child.

o   Can be either a Convertible Forward/Booster Seat or a Booster Seat.


When installing child booster seats, it is important to keep in mind that:


  • Convertible Forward/Booster Seats can be used in their Booster mode for children from approximately 4 years old (providing their shoulders meet the height marker on their seat to convert to booster mode) until approximately 8 years old, or when their shoulders reach the top height marker on their seat.


  • Booster Seats can be used from 4 years old (providing their shoulders meet the minimum height marker on the seat) until approximately 8 years old, or when their shoulders reach the top height marker on their seat.


When can your child move to using Lap-sash Adult Seatbelts?

Adult Car Seat Installation

Lap-sash adult seatbelts are designed for people who are at least 145 cm tall. Most 7 year olds are too small for lap-sash adult seatbelts, and many children don’t reach this height until they are 10-12 years old.


Children can start using a lap-sash adult seatbelt only when they are 145 cm tall and can pass the 5-step test.


To pass the 5-step test your child must be able to do all of the following:


  1. Sit with their back firmly against the seat back.

  2. Bend their knees comfortably over the front of the seat cushion.

  3. Sit with the sash belt across their mid-shoulder, not across their face or neck.

  4. Sit with the lap belt across the top of their thighs, not across their abdomen.

  5. Stay in this position for the whole car trip.


A lap-sash adult seatbelt might fit your child correctly only in certain vehicles or only in certain vehicle seats. For example, the seatbelt might fit your child better when they’re sitting in the middle vehicle seat rather than the outer seat.


Here at BabyClean&Safe, our team of accredited professionals in installing baby and child car seats will help bring you peace of mind of ensuring travel safety.

 

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