Rear-Facing Down Under

Australian car seat guide

Australian car seat types and approximate ages for use.  

Australian child restraints no longer have weight limits. From the 2010 standard onwards, all new seats now have shoulder height markers to determine suitability. The child's weight is no longer a factor. Suitability for seat use is now determined by seated shoulder height and approximate age (in line with the law).  The approximate ages are the bare minimum legal requirement.  For maximum safety, children should remain in each stage of seat for as long as they fit within the shoulder height markers, and should not be graduated to the next stage of seat prematurely or because they have a birthday.  Doing so can result in serious injuries or death in the event of a car crash.

Please check our Child Restraint Laws page to ensure your child is using the correct seat for their age by law.

 

The 3 basic car seat stages are:

 Rear-facing with inbuilt harness

Forward-facing with inbuilt harness

Booster seat with adult seat belt  

Belt paths are now colour coded for each stage.

 

Baby Capsule/Baby Carrier.  (Newborn to 6 - 12 months approx)

Rear-facing only.  Can be transferred from house to car to stroller without waking baby. Inbuilt 5-point harness, seat belt install & top tether.  ISOFIX available on selected models. 

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one.

(Type A1) 

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 to 6 months approx

 

(Type A2) 

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 to 12 months approx


Convertible 0-4 years car seat.  (Newborn to 4 years approx)

Converts from rear-facing mode to forward-facing mode.  Inbuilt 6-point harness, seat belt install & top tether.   ISOFIX available on selected models.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one.

(Type A1/B) 

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 to 6 months approx. 

 Forward-facing inbuilt harness 6 months to 4 years approx

 

(Type A2/B) 

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 to 12 months approx

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 12 months to 4 years approx

 

(Type A4/B) 

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 to 3 years approx

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 3 years to 4 years approx.


Convertible 0-8 years car seat.  (Newborn to 8 years approx) 

Converts from rear-facing mode to forward-facing mode with inbuilt 6-point harness, seat belt install & top tether, to booster seat mode with adult seat belt & top tether.  No ISOFIX available.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one. 

(Type A1/B/E)

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 to 6 months approx. 

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 6 months to 4 years approx.

Booster seat using adult seat belt 4 years to 8 years approx. 


Convertible 0-8 years car seat.  (Newborn to 8 years approx) 

Converts from rear-facing mode to forward-facing mode with inbuilt 6-point harness, seat belt install & top tether.  No booster mode.  No ISOFIX available.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one. 

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A restraint with an inbuilt harness offers better protection than a booster seat for as long as a child fits in one. 

(Type A4/G)

Rear-facing inbuilt harness 0 - 3 years approx

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 3 - 8 years approx.

No booster mode. 

 

 

Forward-facing car seat.  (6 months to 4 years approx) 

Forward-facing only. Inbuilt 6 point harness, seat belt install & top tether.  No booster mode.  Suits older children who have completely outgrown their rear-facing car seats. ISOFIX available on selected models.   

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one. 

(Type B)  

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 6 months to 4 years approx.

No booster mode. 

Fully harnessed car seat.  (6 months to 8 years approx) 

Forward-facing only. Inbuilt 6-point harness, seat belt install & top tether.  No booster mode. Suits older children who have completely outgrown their convertible rearward/forward-facing seats. No ISOFIX available.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one. 

(Type G) 

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 6 months to 8 years approx. 

No booster mode. 

  

Convertible booster seat.  (6 months to 8 years approx)

Converts from forward-facing mode with inbuilt 6-point harness, seat belt install & top-tether to booster seat mode with adult seat belt & top-tether.  Suits older children who have completely outgrown their rear-facing car seats.  No ISOFIX available.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A rearward facing restraint offers better protection than a forward facing restraint for as long as a child fits in one.  

(Type B/E)

Forward-facing inbuilt harness 6 months to 4 years approx.

Booster seat using adult seat belt 4 years to 8 years approx. 


Dedicated booster seat.  (4 years to 8 - 10 years approx) 

Forward-facing only seats used with the adult seat belt and top-tether.  No inbuilt harness.  Suits older children who have completely outgrown their inbuilt 6-point harness car seats.  No ISOFIX available.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A restraint with an inbuilt harness offers better protection than a booster seat for as long as a child fits in one. 

(Type E) 

Booster seat using adult seat belt 4 years to 8 years approx.  

 

(Type F) 

Booster seat using adult seat belt 4 years to 10 years approx. 

Untethered Booster Seat.  (4 to 8 years approx) 

Forward-facing only seats used with the adult seat belt only.  Lightweight with no top tether. No inbuilt harness. Suits older children who have completely outgrown their inbuilt 6-point harness car seats.  Convenient for use with children over the age of 4 when the only available seating position has no anchor point, or when a child over the age of 4 needs to sit in the front seat of the car, due to no back seats being available.  Portable and handy for extra child passengers over the age of 4 years.  No ISOFIX available. 

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A restraint with an inbuilt harness offers better protection than a booster seat for as long as a child fits in one. 

(Type E) 

Untethered booster seat using adult seat belt 4 years to 8 years approx. 

No top tether. 

australian car seats for longer rear-facing

Current at February 2016:
 
Type A4 Seats, rear-facing to approximately 2-3 years of age 
(until middle shoulder height marker):
 
Britax Platinum PRO SICT. ISOFIX Compatible & seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker.
 
Britax Millennia SICT. ISOFIX Compatible & seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker.
 
Britax Slimm-Line AHR. ISOFIX Compatible & seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker.
 
Britax Compaq AHR.  Seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker. 
 
Britax Compaq MK11.  Seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker. 
 
InfaSecure Kompressor 4 Treo. ISOFIX Compatible & seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker.
 
InfaSecure Quattro.  Seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker. 
 
InfaSecure Grandeur.  Seat belt install. 0-8 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker. 
 
Babylove Ezy Switch EP.  Seat belt install. 0-4 years convertible car seat. 39cm seated torso rear-facing shoulder height marker. 

No longer recommended

Cushion Booster Seats

Cushion booster seats were removed from the 2010 edition of the Australian Child Restraint Standard as they provide no side impact protection to the child's head and body.  Although still legal to be used, they are no longer manufactured or sold by retailers within Australia.  If you own a cushion booster which is less than 10 years from the date of manufacture, it is recommended to be used only by children over 7 years of age who are too tall for a full booster, but may need a slight boost to attain correct seat belt fit. (See Five Step Test for seat belt use). They can also be beneficial when used in the centre position between two other car seats when another full seat will not fit.

Kidsafe Australia recommends: A restraint with an inbuilt harness offers better protection than a booster seat for as long as a child fits in one.

 

Accessory H-Harnesses

Accessory H-Harnesses are no longer recommended by child safety experts due to the high rate of mis-use and high level of injury as a result of mis-use.  Although still legal to be used and sold within Australia, studies have shown that an accessory H-Harness provides no increased protection compared with a shoulder sash and lap seat belt, and when they are used incorrectly, can cause serious injuries.  Experts recommend that accessory H-Harnesses only be used when the only available seat belt is a lap only belt, and it is preferable to have a shoulder sash and lap seat belt retrofitted, rather than use an accessory H-Harness.

If a child over the age of 4 years has outgrown their 0-4 years car seat or convertible booster seat in 6-point harness mode, and is unable to sit properly in a booster seat using the adult seat belt, it is recommended that they use a fully harnessed car seat with inbuilt 6-point harness for children up to the age of approximately 8 years for as long as possible.

Accessory H-Harness Study

 

australian child restraint standard

AS/NZS 1754 Child restraint systems for use in motor vehicles 

 

AS/NZS 1754:2013

All Australian child restraints regardless of brand must pass exactly the same compliance crash-testing to be certified and approved for sale and use within Australia.  Seats that have passed these standards contain the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754 Sticker. There is a seat available for every budget.  Seats that do not meet the Australian Standard are not approved for use within Australia.

Do not use child restraints that are older than 10 years from the date of manufacture. The plastics and other components can degrade over time, and their safety can no longer be guaranteed.  These must be destroyed.

Do not use child restraints that have been involved in a motor vehicle crash.  They can contain hairline fractures that are invisible to the naked eye.  They are no longer safe to be used.  These must be destroyed. 

If using a second-hand child restraint, ensure that you know the history of the restraint, that it is less than 10 years from the date of manufacture, and that it contains all the instructions, parts and labels. 

AUSTRALIAN CAR SEAT MANUFACTURERS

Britax (Includes Safe-n-Sound & Steelcraft). 

Infa-Secure

Dorel  (Includes  Maxi Cosi, Safety 1st, Mother's Choice, Go Safe, ZuZu).

Babylove

Hipod

Love-n-Care 

CHANGE THE LAW!  KEEP BABIES REAR-FACING FOR LONGER

Please sign our petition to the Australian Government to change the law to keep babies legally rear-facing to a minimum of 12 months of age:

SIGN THE PETITION