Pearce's Child Restraints
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Ph: 02 9997 4602
Choose the right restraint for your child
Pearce's Child Restraints

FAQ

Please select the category below.

 


Appointment Questions

Q. How far in advance should I make my appointment?
We recommend you call to make your appointment 2 weeks in advance of your due date to ensure you get the desired time and are not caught out by the baby coming early.

Q. Do I need to bring my child along to the fitting? 

Yes, it is always helpful for the fitter to see the child for whom they are fitting a restraint, especially when advising on, or fitting, a booster.

Q. What form of payments do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, EFTPOS and cash payments.

 


Hiring vs Buying capsules

Q. Should I hire or buy a baby capsule?

  • Hiring a capsule is very economical as you only use it for a limited period of about 6 months.
  • Hiring a capsule alleviates the problem of finding storage space once you no longer need it or between children.
  • Every capsule hired out from Pearce's Child Restraints is thoroughly cleaned and checked, and all parts are supplied with the capsule rental.
  • Buying a baby capsule is really only cost effective if you plan on having 3 or more children.

 


Warranty Questions

Q. What is the length of warranty on my Safe'n'Sound restraint?
All Safe-N-Sound restraints have the following warranty from date of purchase;

  • Seat ~ 5 years
  • Trim/cover ~ 2 years
  • Extended warranty is applicable on certain seats. Please look on the Britax website for advice if your seat if your seat can extend the warranty.

Q. Who do I speak to regarding my warranty with Safe'n'Sound seats?
You can call us on 9997 4602. You will probably need to bring the restraint into us for us to inspect. We also need the following information;

  • Date of manufacture
  • Type/model of seat
  • Inspected by # (this number is located on a white sticker on the back of the seat)


Safe 'n' Sound Crash Exchange Program

Q. What is the Crash Exchange Program?
If a Safe-n-Sound child restraint is involved in a severe crash, it may be considered eligible for an exchange for a new one of the same or similar design and features.

Visit www.britax.com.au and read the full terms and conditions carefully before proceeding with an application.

 


Seat Instruction Manual

Q. Where can I get another instruction manual for my Safe'n'Sound seat?
Contact Britax Childcare (Safe'n'Sound) on 1300 303 330 or go to their website at www.britax.com.au

 


Most Suitable Restraint

Q. Which seat is most suitable for my child?
To avoid confusion from the overlapping of age ranges among restraint types, the following can be used as a guide to the most suitable type.

Birth - 6mths 
Children under 6 months must be restrained in an approved rearward-facing restraint. The restraint is held in place by the seatbelt and the top tether strap. These restraints have an inbuilt harness system. There are some convertible forward-facing restraints that combine the features of rearward-facing and forward-facing restraints in one child restraint. These restraints accommodate babies from birth in rearward-facing mode and can then be converted to forward-facing when the child is 12 months of age. All have an inbuilt six-point harness system. An infant restraint must be correctly installed and properly adjusted in your vehicle, and the inbuilt harness must snugly fit your baby. If it is not fitted correctly, the restraint may not offer full protection in the event of a crash. Make sure you have a restraint installed in your car before your baby is born, ready for their first car trip which will probably be on the way home from the hospital.

6mths - 4 yrs 
Children aged between 6 months and 4 years must be restrained in an approved rearward or forward-facing restraint. Once your child has outgrown their rearward-facing restraint (this usually happens from around 6 to 12 months of age) they can be moved into a forward-facing restraint. The forward-facing restraint is held in place by the seatbelt and the top tether strap. The seat faces forward and incorporates a six-point harness. There are some restraints that combine the features of forward-facing restraints for young children and booster seats for older children. These restraints come with an inbuilt harness and a top tether strap. The harness is used until the child outgrows the harness. This is when the harness straps are too tight and do not fit over the shoulders correctly. Once the child has outgrown the inbuilt harness, it MUST be removed (as per the manufacturer’s instruction) and the restraint is used as a booster seat with an adult lap-sash seatbelt. You will know that your child has outgrown their child seat when their shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the child seat, when their eye-level is higher than the back of the child seat or when the top insertion slots for the shoulder straps are below the level of the child’s shoulder

4yrs - 7yrs
Children aged between 4 years and 7 years must be restrained in an approved forward-facing restraint or booster seat. Booster seats are used with an adult lap-sash seatbelt and feature high backs and sides which provide protection protection for children in side impact crashes as well as providing support when a child is sleeping. Children should travel in a booster seat that is secured by an adult lap-sash seatbelt, never in a lap-only belt. A booster seat should be used until your child's shoulders no longer comfortably fit within the booster seat or when their eye-level is higher than the back of the booster seat.

7years plus 
It is strongly recommended that children aged 7 years and over stay in their booster seats until they are too big for them. Adult lap-sash seatbelts are designed for people with a minimum height of 145cm. Lap-sash seatbelts offer greater protection to passengers than lap-only seatbelts, but they most fit correctly. This means that the lap belt is positioned low over the hip and the sash belt sits in the middle of the shoulder and does not touch the neck.

 


Capsule Questions

Q. How long will I need to use a capsule for?
A baby uses a capsule usually for 6 months, there are some baby carriers that can be used for up to 12 months. Make sure you read your instrcution manual to check what your capsule is suitable for, and keep an eye on the maximum height markers.

Q. Do I have to book a Baby Capsule?
Yes, and it is best to book early. We advise booking at least 10 to 14 days prior to your babies due date.

Q. Can I still use my baby capsule with the velcro body band?
Australian Velcro body band capsules were manufactured over 10 years ago, which is generally considered as the cut off point for use of a child restraint. While the capsule may look fine, plastics do deteriorate and become brittle over time reducing their effectiveness in case of an accident. Australian standards are constantly being updated and modern capsules now use a five-point harness to restrain your child. Therefore, as it is recommended by restraint manufacturers not to use child restraints that are over 10 years old, the velcro band capsules should not be used.

Q. Is a baby capsule better than a convertible seat?
Convertible restraints and baby safety capsules are tested to the same high Australian Standard. The major advantage of a capsule is that the baby can be moved into and out of the car without being disturbed - enabling you to be out and about rather than stuck at home during sleep times. As is the case with any child restraint, your purchase decision should be based on suitability for mother and child together with size, features, materials, ease of fitting, warranty and after sales service and advice.

Q. How does the baby safety capsule work?
During an accident, the Baby Safety Capsule wants to continue its' forward momentum. The accident sensitive latch disengages during an accident allowing the bassinet to turn about the pivot. With the bassinet turned the impact forces are more uniformly distributed over the whole of the baby's torso and head. The turning bassinet contacts and depresses the energy absorbing bubble, therefore allowing the bassinet to come to rest smoothly without a sudden jolt.
 

Q Why can't you see your baby while travelling?
Because having their back to you inside the Baby Safety Capsule is the safest way for your baby to travel in a motor vehicle. Pearce's does sell the Baby Mirrors so parents can keep an eye on their infants while facing rearwards (see our accessories section).

 


Convertible Seat Questions

Q. What about a 0-4 restraints?
Yes, they are standards approved.  However, there are a couple of factors to consider before purchasing one. One important consideration is whether the restraint will fit into your car. These devices are often too large (in rearward facing mode) for small and some medium sized vehicles and they should be checked before purchasing.

Q. How long can I keep my baby in the rearward position of my convertible car seat?
This will depend on which model car seat you have, it is advisable you check the restraint manual to confirm this. The Safe'n'Sound convertible car seats will allow you to keep the infant in the rearward position for up to 12 months (some even to 2 - 3 years of age), and it is recommended they stay rearward until 12 months for safety. Basically the longer you can keep a baby rearward facing the better and safer for the child.

 


Booster Seat Questions

Q. When should a booster seat be used?
Booster seats are suitable for children over the age of 4 years. The booster seat raises the child so they can see out of the window and also ensures the seat belt is worn correctly. Booster seats have high backs and sides to proves protection for children in side impact crashes as well as providing support for when they are sleeping. They are

Most booster seats incorporate a sash locator guide to help position the adult seat belt in the correct position across the child's shoulder so it does not rub against the child's neck. Do not raise your child to the correct height for an adult seat belt by any other method ie; cushions, as these may compress and the child may slip under the belt resulting in a serious injury or strangulation especially in a collision.

 


Fitting Restraints Yourself

Q. Can I fit an anchor bolt myself?
Yes you can. Provided you use the existing dedicated child anchor point you can install the bolt yourself.  DO NOT DRILL ANY HOLES OR DOUBLE UP EXISTING ANCHOR BOLTS - this is illegal and very unsafe. Also, do not attach child restraint straps to any luggage tie down points.   

Q. I'm unsure about a child restraint I have fitted to my vehicle. What can I do?
Bring your vehicle to Pearce's Child Restraints and we'll check it free of charge.  Plus we'll give you practical advice specific to your restraint and vehicle make. Just call our office and make an appointment.

Q. Am I able to install a child restraint into my vehicle without going to a professional restraint fitter?
Yes, you can install your child restraint as every seat comes with a comprehensive instruction manual which will guide you through the Do's and Dont's of installation. However it is recommended you seek professional assistance to ensure it is safe.

 


Child Restraints - General Questions

Q. Can I fit a child restraint or seat a child in the front seat of a car.
This depends on whether  there is more than one row of seats in the car and the age of the child. 

Where there are two or more rows of seats:
~ A child under four years of age cannot sit in the front row of a car if there is more than one row of seats, even if they are large enough to fit in a booster seat.
~ A child between four years of age  and under seven years of age cannot sit in the front row of a vehicle that has more than one row of seats unless the other rows are occupied by younger children  in an approved child restraint.
Note: you can only fit a booster seat in the front row of a vehicle if that booster seat does not require a top tether strap.

If the car has one row of seats (for example a single cab ute or sports car with a front anchorage point) a child of any age can sit in the front seat provided they are properly restrained. However, most car manufacturers recommend against the use of rearward facing restraints in front passenger seats. 

A child in a rearward facing restraint should not be placed in the front a vehicle where there is an air bag.

Q. Are all child restraints the same?
No. Tests have indicated there was a great deal of difference in the way different restraints performed.  The current buyers guide gives information on the way most popular restraints tested.  It should also be noted that there is a large difference in the ease of use and adjustment between restraints. Even removing covers for washing and cleaning can be difficult on some models.

Q. When is my child too tall for the restraint I'm using?
The aim for all forward facing restraint systems is to minimise the incidence of whiplash and head injuries that may result from accidents, even at relatively low speeds. So always make sure that child's eye level is not above the back of the child restraint (applies to booster use as well).

Q. Why does my baby have to travel rearward facing?
It's safer to spread the forces of an accident across a fully supported back than to be suspended in a harness. Additionally, a babies head is largely unsupported and vulnerable to being thrown violently forward if in a forward facing restraint.

Q. Is the Series 3 restraint still being manufactured?                     
No. The Series 3 restraint is no longer being made.

 


Second Hand Seat Questions

Q. Can I use a second hand restraint and is it safe?
The NRMA does not recommend the use of second hand child restraints unless the full history of the restraint is known. Child restraints can only be checked visually and therefore it is important to know its history (e.g. Has it been in an accident, Has it been stored correctly while not in use? How old is it? etc)

Q. Can I buy a second-hand child restraint?
Yes. However, while it isn't possible to guarantee that a used restraint is fully safe, the following checklist should be followed:

  • Make sure the device is approved to Australian Standard 1754. It is best to stay clear of the earlier Australian Standard E46 devices. They are usually very old and are likely to be unsuitable in some way.
  • Check for signs of wear, ie. cracks, faded or frayed straps, or a buckle that doesn't work.
  • Check the history of the restraint if you can. Don't use one which has been involved in a crash - it is likely to have been stressed and may no longer provide adequate protection.
  • As a general rule, only consider a restraint owned by someone you know.

Q. Is it still okay to use a 10 year old restraint?
The RTA & the manufacturers recommend replacement at 10 years, due to deterioration of the plastics used in construction of modern restraints. A seat may have become brittle over time, and simply will not provide the same level of protection against impact.

Q. Can I still use my child restraint if it has been involved in an accident?
No, a restraint is designed for one impact only. The restraint should be destroyed even if no damage is obvious.

 


Restraint Position in Vehicle

Q. Which is the safest position in the car for my baby / child?
The centre rear (of a normal 5 seater vehicle) is the statistically safest position, but, there are a number of other issues you may need to consider before coming to a decision: -

  • How tall is the driver?
  • It can be quite difficult to get a child into the centre position, particularly in tall cars such as 4WD's. Consider also you may have weakened back muscles after birth, and leaning a long way over with a weight in your arms can be quite a strain.
  • How many other restraints are there, and how frequently do you carry other passengers?
  • How easy and safe is it for the other children to get in and out? Do you do Kiss and Drop for instance?
  • And does the vehicle have the correct equipment fitted to the position to do the job correctly? (Such as an anchorage location or seat belt.)

Q. When can my child sit in the front seat?
RAC recommends that no child under the age of 12 years ride in the front seat of a vehicle, if there is another seating position with a seatbelt available. The back seat is the safest place for children in the event of a crash - they are less likely to hit something hard such as the dash or windscreen if seated in the back. Where an air bag is present, placing a child there who is 12 years or under is highly dangerous. The child could be hit by a deploying air bag and seriously injured or even killed.

Q. Where are my car's child restraint anchorage points?
All makes and models of car differ. Check your owner's manual for your car's anchorage points. Many older cars and most commercial vehicles have none at all, although they can be installed by an authorised fitting station such as Pearce's.

 


Air Bag Questions

Q. What's the problem with air bags and children?
Air bags are designed for an adults' mass and may NEVER provide an appropriate impact environment for children. Note;

  • Where there are side Air bags / curtains fitted, a child should NEVER sleep with their head against the side of the car.
  • Rearward facing restraints should NEVER be used where there is a forward mounted air bag.
  • A child under the age of 12 years should NEVER sit in the front if airbags are fitted.
  • Keep children away from air bag systems if you have any doubt.
  • Side / curtain airbags should not affect forward facing seats however you should refer to your vehicle's operating manual for further recommendations.
  • Check with vehicle manufacturers' agent in regard to deactivation of an air bag system if necessary.

 


Anchor Point Questions

Q. If my car already has two anchor points can I easily add another?
Not always, as the number of possible anchor points varies for each type of vehicle.  Changes must be carried out by an Authorized Fitting Station. 

Q. Can I fit more than one child restraint to each anchor point?
No. Definitely one device per anchor point - no exceptions.

Q. How do I know if my car has child anchor points?
The best way to check if your car has anchor points for a child car restraint is to check the car owner's manual. The index will list child car restraints and you can then check where the anchorage points are in your vehicle. As a quick guide most sedans manufactured after 1st July 1976, station wagons manufactured after 1st January 1977, light passenger vans (up to 12 seats) manufactured after January 1986, 4WDs manufactured after July 1990 and some late model commercial vehicles and utes are likely to have child car restraint anchorage points. If in doubt it is recommended to call the vehicle manufacturer for anchorage point locations.


Mobile Bassinet Questions

Q. Will a mobile bassinet fit into the boot of my car?
The mobile bassinets tend to only fit in the rear of large 4WD's, station wagons and some hatch backs. It is unlikely they will fit into a sedan vehicle.

Q. What areas do you deliver the bassinet to?
We deliver to most areas on the northern beaches and north shore. Call our office to find out what day of the week we deliver to your area.

Q. What linen should I use on the bassinet?
A standard pillowcase fits over the mattress, then a cot sheet folded in half or baby blanket over the top.

 


In-Store price VS On-Line prices - whats the difference?

In-Store Price
Is for all purchases made from our Mona Vale office or hospital locations.
This price includes a free fitting
If you choose not to get the fitting the price is not cheaper

On-Line Price
Is only valid for purchases made via this website
These purchases are posted to you via Australia Post
The On-Line price is not valid for restraints purchased from out Mona Vale office or hospital locations
Does not include a fitting

 


Payment Types Available

Q. What types of payment do you accept?
For On-Line purchasers at Pearce's Child Restraints we currently accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards. For purchases made from our Mona Vale workshop or one of our hospital locations we accept Visa, Mastercard, EFTPOS and cash.

 


Miscellaneous Questions

Q. Where can I get more information about Child Restraints and Fitting?
Road & Traffic Authority : 1800 042 865
NRMA : 02 9292 9632

Q. Do I need to wear a seat belt when pregnant?

  • No matter what stage you are of your pregnancy, it is vital that you always wear a seat belt. By wearing a seat belt you are protecting yourself and your unborn baby in the event of a crash.
  • Remember, it is illegal not to wear a seat belt unless you have a current certificate signed by a medical practitioner exempting you due to medical reasons.
  • Wear your seat belt comfortably and correctly.
  • Place the lap sash part of the belt under the bulge, as low as possible - the lap part of the belt should sit over the upper thighs and not across the bulge.
  • Adjust the angle of the seat belt by using the seat belt locator.
  • Place the sash part of the belt between your breasts.

Q. What should I dress my baby in when in the restraint?
A five point harness comes up between the legs so they can't be in a sleeping bag or wrapped as if for bed. Take several changes of clothing and bibs for possible car sickness. Disposable nappies and liners are very handy when travelling. Since it is often warmer in the car, dress the baby in light clothing. When cooler, it is easier to place a blanket over the baby than it is to remove the baby from the restraint and change clothes.


FAQ per the RTA website 

Q. What are the new laws in regards to child restraints?
~All children under seven years of age must be secured in a child restraint or booster seat when traveling in a vehicle. The new child restraint laws in NSW are based on national model legislation.
~ Babies up to six months of age must be restrained in a rearward facing restraint.
~ Children from six months to under four years of age must be restrained in a rearward facing or forward facing restraint. Children under four years of age must not be in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows.
~ From four years to under seven years of age a forward facing restraint or booster seat must be used. Children from four to under seven years of age can only sit in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows when all other seats are occupied by children of a lesser age in an approved child restraint.
~ The ages specified above are a guide for the safety of your child. If your child is too small for a restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in their current of restraint for as long as necessary. 
~ If your child is too large for a restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of restraint. 

Q. When do the laws come into effect?
In NSW the new laws come into effect from 1 March 2010.

Q. Why are we introducing these new laws?
Parents are generally moving their children into adult seatbelts from around five and a half years of age and research indicates this is too early and increases the potential for injury.

Children need to be appropriately restrained to reduce the chance of serious injury or death if involved in a crash. A child restraint prevents a child from being ejected from the vehicle and distributes the extreme crash forces over the strongest parts of the child’s body.

Placing a child under seven years of age in a normal car seat and using a standard seatbelt is not safe because a normal vehicle seat is too big and a child’s bone structure is not sufficiently developed to keep the seat (safety) belt in the proper place during a crash.

Children up to seven years of age are at least four times as likely to sustain a head injury in a crash when using an adult seat belt when compared to children sitting in an appropriate child restraint.

Other research shows that seating children from age four to under seven years of age in an appropriate booster seat reduces their risk of injury in a crash by almost 60 per cent when compared to sitting in an adult seatbelt without a booster seat.

Q. What if I travel interstate, do they have the same laws?
Victoria and Queensland have already announced the introduction of these changes and it is anticipated that other states will follow.

Q. What type of restraint should I use for my child?
You should use a restraint that is appropriate for your child’s age and size.
It must be an approved child restraint that complies with Australian Standards (AS/NZS1754) & is marked as complying with the Australian Standard.
Advice on how to select an appropriate child restraint can be found in the RTA’s brochure Safer Child Restraints: your guide to buying a child restraint.

Q. What is a rearward facing restraint (also known as a baby capsule)?
It is a restraint that must be used for children (babies) from birth to around six months of age, which is held in place by a seatbelt and the top tether strap with the baby facing the rear of the vehicle. All have an inbuilt harness system.
Rearward facing restraints may be used for children aged more than six months of age if the child is too small to progress to the next level of restraint.

Q. What is a forward facing restraint?
The restraint is held in place by a seatbelt and a top tether strap. The seat faces forward and incorporates a six-point harness.
Forward facing restraints can be used for children aged more than six months of age.

Q. What is a booster seat?
Booster seats have high backs and sides to provide protection for children in side impact crashes as well as providing support for when they are sleeping. They are suitable for children from around four  years of age up to age seven  years of age.
Booster seats are used with an adult lap/sash seatbelt.  The seatbelt must be correctly adjusted to protect the child in the instance of a crash.

Q. What is a convertible forward facing restraint?
It combines the features of rearward and forward facing restraints in one child restraint. 

These restraints can be used by babies from birth to around six months of age in the rearward facing mode. If the child is not large enough to progress to the next level of restraint, the restraint may remain in the rearward facing mode until the child is ready. These restraints can then be converted to forward facing for children six months to around four years of age. All have an inbuilt six-point harness system and a top tether strap.

Q. What is a convertible booster seat?
This combines the features of a forward facing restraint for children from age sixmonths to four years of age and booster seats for children aged fourto under seven years of age. 

These restraints come with an inbuilt harness and a top tether strap. The inbuilt harness is used until the child reaches four years of age or until the harness straps are too tight over the shoulders. The inbuilt harness must be removed when the restraint is used as a booster seat. When being used as a booster seat the child must be restrained by an adult seatbelt.

Q. What is a seatbelt?
A seatbelt is a belt device fitted to the vehicle to restrain the occupant in the event of a crash. Modern vehicles have lap/sash seatbelts while some older vehicles may only have lap type belts for rear seat positions.

Seatbelts must fit correctly. The lap belt must be positioned over the upper thigh and the sash belt (where available) crosses the mid shoulder where it does not touch the neck.

Q. Can I use a second hand restraint?
Manufacturers recommend a restraint should not be used if it is more than 10 years old, or if the restraint is showing signs of cracking or frayed straps. 

Do not buy or use a restraint that has been involved in a crash or if you do not know the history of the restraint.

The date of manufacture is printed on all restraints, if it looks worn, buckles are broken, the plastic shell is cracked or discoloured for example from age, overloading or exposure to the sun it is advised that the restraint should not be used.

Q. Can I use a child restraint that was purchased overseas?
No. Child restraints purchased overseas do not comply with Australian Standards and they are not compatible with Australia vehicles. 

Australian vehicles have a unique top tether strap anchorage system, which only Australian Standard approved child restraints are compatible with.

In addition, the Australian Standard for child restraints is one of the most stringent child restraint standards in the world. Unlike the European Standard, the Australian standard requires all restraints to be tested in side and rear impact tests and some with inverted test for roll-over protection.

Q. Can my child sit in the front seat?
This depends on whether  there is more than one row of seats in the car and the age of the child. 

Where there are two or more rows of seats:
~ A child under four years of age cannot sit in the front row of a car if there is more than one row of seats, even if they are large enough to fit in a booster seat.
~ A child between four years of age  and under seven years of age cannot sit in the front row of a vehicle that has more than one row of seats unless the other rows are occupied by younger children  in an approved child restraint.
Note: you can only fit a booster seat in the front row of a vehicle if that booster seat does not require a top tether strap.

If the car has one row of seats (for example a single cab ute or sports car with a front anchorage point) a child of any age can sit in the front seat provided they are properly restrained. However, most car manufacturers recommend against the use of rearward facing restraints in front passenger seats. 

A child in a rearward facing restraint should not be placed in the front a vehicle where there is an air bag.

Q. If I have four children under seven years of age can I carry them in my car?
This will depend on the age of your children and the size of your car as well as the type of your child restraint and booster seats you have.

If you have a standard sedan with two rows of seats you should be able to accommodate three child restraints in the second row and carry one child aged over four years of age in the front row.

Q. What if my child is too small or too large for the type of restraint specified for my child’s age?
If a child is too small for a restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in a previous level of restraint for as long as necessary. 

If a child is too large for a restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of restraint. 
~ A child aged between six months and four years of age will need to move to the next level of restraint when:
~ Their shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the restraint; or
~ Their eye-level is higher than the back of the restraint; or
~ The top insertion slots for the shoulder straps are below the level of the child’s shoulders.

A child aged between four and seven years of age will need to move to the next level of restraint if:
~ Their shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the restraint; or
~ Their eye-level is higher than the back of the booster seat (when measured perpendicularly from the seat back).

Children should remain in a child restraint for as long as physically possible.

Q. What is the difference between an inbuilt harness and an accessory child safety harness?
An inbuilt harness is made at the time of manufacture as part of the child restraint.  It is suitable for children weighing up to 18 kg. There are no inbuilt harnesses available for children over 18 kg. 

A child safety harness is purchased separately. It is suitable for children that weigh between 18 kg and 32 kg. These harnesses must be used according to the instruction, to prevent unnecessary injury to children.

Q. Can I use an accessory child safety harness instead of a lap and sash seatbelt with my booster seat?
A child safety harness should not be used if a lap and sash seatbelt is available. Research suggests a lap and sash seatbelt it is just as safe, or safer, than using a child safety harness, when correctly fitted.

The use of an accessory child safety harness is recommended only in a position where the vehicle seat has a lap-only seatbelt. Research has shown that the likelihood of a child safety harness being used incorrectly is very high and the risk of injuries when incorrectly used is much higher compared to a lap-sash seatbelt.

Q. I have a centre lap-only seatbelt in the back seat of my car, can I use a booster seat there?
It is recommended that you retrofit a lap-sash seat belt in that position.

If you do choose to use an approved booster seat with an accessory child safety harness please ensure the lap portion of the belt is placed firmly first over the upper thigh before adjusting the shoulder harness.

Q. Can I use a booster cushion instead of a booster seat?
You may use a booster cushion if it complies with Australian Standards. It is recommended that booster seats with high back and side wings be used wherever possible as they provide a higher level of safety in some types of crashes.

Q. Can I hire a baby capsule, child restraint or booster seat?
Yes. Child restraints can be hired from some maternity hospitals, councils and private companies.

Q. Who is responsible for ensuring a child is restrained in an approved restraint?
Motor vehicle drivers are responsible for ensuring all children aged under 7 yrs of age are restrained in appropriate, standards approved restraints.

Penalties apply for failing to ensure all children are appropriate restrained are: $253 and three demerit points (six demerit points during double demerit point periods) for each unrestrained or incorrectly restrained child.

Q. Is there an amnesty period after the new laws are introduced?
NSW Police Officers have discretion to issue warnings instead of infringement notices, however in the interests of improved child road safety it is recommended parents comply with the new requirements immediately.



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