Selecting a baby car seat is a difficult task, firstly the Child restraint laws seem to change every year (at least in victoria) and secondly the Crep Report put out by the motoring associations seem to be out of date or the have not included the latest baby car seats or they have included discontinued baby car seats.

Either way it is difficult to make a decision, what do you do...

Simply go to one of the forums and ask the questions there, there are many people on forums such as bub hub who are more than willing to help out and most likely they will have direct experience with particular baby car seats..

Unfortunately there are some people on these forums who feel it is their duty to continually promote a particular company, ignore these people and do your research for yourself. Just because someone in NSW may have a cheaper price than Victoria does not make it cheaper, you need to add the total cost of the postage to get the final cost to you, in most case a local shop will have the best price.

RACV / NRMA Recommended Car seats

The 2009 Crep report

2009 RACV Child Restraint Evaluation Report - 2009 RACV CREP Report

During 2009 RACV with NRMA and the NSW Centre for Road Safety conducted their Child Restraint Evaluation Program looking into the current availability and safety of baby car seats, These were tabled in a report and is referenced in the report.  Unfortunately it appears that the new Safe-n-Sound Meridian Tilt and adjust was not included in the evaluation and should be redone to verify the results

The report is divided into 3 sections; these  include:

Results - Booster seats for older children

For Older children, there is a choice of either a dedicated Booster seat or a convertible booster seat. Once again the difference being that the convertible booster seat can be used for a longer period. The results for the Booster seats for older children revealed that three of the top 6 child restraints were Safe n Sound Child restraints (down from four in the top six previously). with the results being split equally between a dedicated booster seat and a convertible booster seat

These top ten included :

  • Infa Vario Kid Model CS 54
  • Safe-N-Sound Hi-Liner with ASC
  • Hipod Barcelona
  • Safe-N-Sound Explorer with ASC
  • Secure Travel Max
  • Safe-N-Sound Hi-Liner without ASC
  • Secure Trek 8
  • Safe-N-Sound Explorer without ASC
  • Safe-N-Sound Maxi Rider with ASC
  • Hipod Senator with and without ASC

Results - Forward-facing restraints for young children

Foward facing child restraints for young children are divided into three groups, these being the dedicated Forward facing child restraints, convertible forward facing child restraints and convertible booster seats. The difference being the convertible forward facing child restraint can be used when your child needs also to be forward facing, and the convertible booster seats can be used as a booster seat later on as well as a forward facing child restraint.

The results for the Forward facing Restraints for young children revealed that four of the top 10 child restraints were Safe n Sound Child restraints, this is down from 6 in the top ten from the previous report, however the new Safe n Sound Meridian Tilt and Adjust is not included and the old meridian ahr will no longer be available for sale. So really how relevant is the report in this light. In addition to the this the new Safe n Sound Meridian Tilt and Adjust does have larger wings providing extra protection in a side impact collision, however as noted already it was not included in the tests.
From the top ten only 1 is a dedicated forward facing Child restraint, with 3 Convertible Boosters seats in the top ten and 6 Convertible forward facing child restraints carrying over to the top 10

These top ten included :

  1. Hipod Senator Series 10/D/2004
  2. Secure Trek 8* Model CS55
  3. Safe-N-Sound Meridian Series 7000/M/2004
  4. Safe-N-Sound Explorer Series JS8/A/2004
  5. IGC GoSafe Cleo
  6. Babylove Sovereign Series F1-304
  7. Secure Turn-A-Tot Model CS35
  8. IGC GoSafe Summit
  9. Safe-N-Sound Compaq Deluxe
  10. Safe-N-Sound Discovery Plus

Results - Rearward facing restraints for Babies

Rearward facing child restraints for babies are divided into two groups, these being the dedicated rearward facing child restraints and the convertible forward facing child restraints. The difference being the convertible forward facing child restraint can be used for a longer period without the need to buys a second forward facing child restraint. The results for the rearward facing Restraints for babies revealed that five of the top 6 child restraints were Safe n Sound Child restraints.

These top six included :

  1. Babylove Snap n Go
  2. Safe-N-Sound Compaq Series 25/A/2004
  3. Secure Turn-A-Tot
  4. Safe-N-Sound Baby Safety Capsule
  5. Safe-N-Sound Compaq Deluxe
  6. IGC GoSafe Cleo

Child Restraint Laws

When Selecting a child restraint select the safest seat that will protect your child for the age and weight of your child, as well as taking into account the laws of your state. Note in November 2009 Victoria introduced new child restraint laws.

Victoria is the first state in Australia to announce implementation of the laws targeting children in cars.

Note at present, there are no new laws yet and if you’re doing the right thing now, there is a good chance that you will be compliant when the laws come into effect.

The new laws change all this by focusing on

  • Larger children involving booster use. This may especially be an issue with multiple children / restraint situations.
  • The need to use a front seat position.

Roads Minister Tim Pallas said children in the front seat have a 40 per cent greater risk of injury in a crash than those in the back of the car.

Research suggests children are moving too early into bigger seats, which are not appropriate for their weight and height and increases the risk of injury. About 500 children a year are killed or seriously injured in car accidents.

This reform responds to calls from road safety experts, police and the community for updated laws which clearly articulate stronger minimum standards.

The approved reform will provide a safe pathway from rear child seats to boosters and adult seatbelts.

Children up to 6 months old should be restrained in a rearward facing infant capsule; then a forward facing child seat until the age of 4; and a booster seat from 4 to 7 years old.

Children aged over 7 years can use an adult seat belt if they are properly restrained.
Some children over 7 years old are too short (less than 1.45m) for the safe use of an adult belt and too heavy (over 26kgs) for a booster seat.

Hopefully I have covered the main issues and questions which you may have regarding baby car seats and child restraints, if it has not been answered here, try the forums, you may get a good answer there

New and Second hand Baby Carseats

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