Even if they have been fitted by a professional, child car restraints require regular checks and maintenance to ensure that children are being transported as safely as possible.
Below are some tips and resources to help you use and maintain your child restraint.
Regularly check the following to make sure your child CAR restraint is as safe as possible:
- • Check that the top tether strap is secured to the correct anchorage point, that it is firm and free of twists.
- • Make sure that the seatbelt is threaded through the correct path (following the colour coding available on newer restraints), correctly tensioned and that the buckle is done up.
- • Check that the harness straps or seatbelt is at the correct height for your child – these will need to be constantly adjusted to fit your child as they grow.
- • Make sure that the harness is firm and that there are no twists in the straps.
- • If your child car restraint has an adjustable head rest, make sure that it is at the correct height to support your child’s head.
- • Keep your eye on the height markers on your child’s restraint. These will indicate when the time is right to move your child in to the next restraint.
- • Bulky clothing or blankets can interfere with the fit of the harness straps. A safer option is to buckle your children in first, then place a blanket over the top of the harness for warmth.
General maintenance for your child car restraint:
- • Regularly check the straps, buckles and adjustors for signs of wear and damage. If you notice any wear or damage, call the manufacturer.
- • Ensure that the child restraint mechanisms (e.g. buckles) do not gather food scraps or rubbish.
National Guidelines for the Safe Restraint of Children Travelling in Motor Vehicles
RACV: Using Restraints – Getting it Right Every Trip