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Strapping in Your Kids
Strapping in Your Kids

Life Style

Strapping in Your Kids: Choosing the Best Booster Seats

Parents should never compromise the safety of their kids anywhere they go, whether that’s at home or in the comfort of their vehicle. Therefore, choosing the best booster seat will be one of the most critical safety decisions parents can take for their children. Moreover, choosing the right seat can play a vital role in child safety on the road. So, below are a few things to consider before buying a seat for the kids:

  1. Make sure that the child’s seat specifications follow all the parameters set forward by the Australian government. Failing to comply with these rules can get you fines, losing the license and even jail time for incompetence. Putting a child in a hazardous situation is not something that the government is willing to tolerate.
  2. Before switching to a booster seat or installing one, you must also analyse the child’s measurements. As such, it is typical for children in Australia to have one when they’re at least four years old. And, the standard weight recommended in the country for children around this age is around 40 pounds or more. Although, there’s no need to rush as it is safer to get such a seat only after the child hits the prescribed weight. As for the age, these are the recommended specifications:
  • Newborns less than six months old should use a rear-facing seat with inbuilt straps or harnesses.
  • You can change the direction of the seat to either forward-facing or backwards-facing if the child is below four years of age.
  • Children between four and seven years must use a booster seat consisting of a harness or a seatbelt. The direction of the seat installed must face forward towards the front of the vehicle.
  • You can use standard seats for children above seven as long as it has a seatbelt.

Most of the specifics vary between states and towns, but the general rules are the same all over Australia. Most of the rules also vary with the type of vehicle in question, like taxis or public transport.

Buying Booster Seats

As mentioned before, buying the right car seat is a must for safeguarding the baby while travelling on the road. Make sure to consider the mentioned pointers before purchasing one:

  1. Make sure that the seats are made in compliance with the standard of manufacture prescribed by law and the safety standards.
  2. Ensure that the child fits correctly in the seat and that the harnesses/the straps are not too tight or loose. Tight harnesses or straps can prove difficult for the kids and won’t make enough room to shift around or breathe. Loose harnesses can be dangerous and detrimental to a child’s safety. The correct fit should also depend on a child’s age and weight.
  3. Don’t buy second-hand seats and don’t accept child seats as a gift if the parent does not know the history of purchase and the ratings. Used car seats, especially those met with an accident, must never be looked into as they may show signs of wear.
  4. When purchasing a seat online, do everything to check into the manufacturing, product specifications, Australia’s standards and rating before finalising the purchase.

Many car seats come with their set of instructions either by the manufacturer or by the shops that parents can read through and implement. The best position for a child seat to be installed would be the middle of the back seat in a vehicle. Tug the straps and the fixed harness and check them every day before use so that you can make sure that they are in proper working conditions. When in doubt, contact the nearest safety inspection office for help or look up government-endorsed resources online for child safety. Remember, the more safety features it has, the better job it can do in protecting a child.

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