Everything You Need to Know About Baby Car Seat Safety
When you are expecting a baby, you’ll want to do everything in your power to ensure bub is as safe as possible.
That all starts with the first drive home from the hospital or birthing centre.
In fact, you won’t be allowed to take your little bundle of joy home until you can prove that you have an adequate car seat or baby capsule in your vehicle.
Here’s what you need to know about baby car seat safety.
Car Seat Laws in Australia
The current law in Australia requires that all babies six months old and younger ride in a rear-facing car seat.
After that initial period, you are free to switch your child to a forward-facing seat if you like. It is important to note though, many paediatricians recommend keeping your child in the rear-facing position for as long as two years.
Choosing the Right Car Seat for Your Baby
If you have ever been to a baby products store, you know that there are many different car seats available.
The choices can be overwhelming. Take your time to evaluate various seats, taking the following into consideration:
- Car Seat or Baby Capsule – Car seats are designed to stay in your vehicle, while baby capsules are easy to install and remove so you can carry bub around without having to take them out of the seat. While this is convenient, baby capsules can only accommodate children up to about 6 months of age, so you’ll need a standard car seat after that.
- Size – Some car seats take up more space than others and you’ll need to ensure your preferred seat will fit in your vehicle. This may not be much of a concern for those with larger vehicles, but it will definitely come into play for drivers of smaller cars. You’ll also need to think about whether you plan to have more children. One or two car seats may fit just fine but you may run into difficulty when you try to install a third.
- Head Support – This is one of the most important aspects of baby car seat safety. Young babies lack the ability to support the weight of their heads on their still-developing necks. You’ll need a car seat that provides adequate cushioning and support to prevent stunting your little one’s development. Support is less of a concern for older babies who can hold their heads up, but cushioning is still important. Until your child’s skull is fully fused, ensure it is sufficiently protected in the event of a crash.
- ISOFIX Compatibility – If your car is equipped with ISOFIX connection points for securing baby car seats, you can choose an ISOFIX car seat model. If your car does not have this capability, you’ll need a car seat model that can be secured with your vehicle’s seat belt. Of course, ISOFIX vehicles can use seat belts to anchor car seats as well. Resist the temptation to purchase ISOFIX car seats from other countries as they may not meet Australian baby car seat safety standards.
Choosing and Installing Your Baby Car Seat
If you need help choosing the right car seat for your precious baby, we are happy to help. We have a variety of popular car seats and baby capsules and can help you narrow down your options.
Babyroad have accredited car seat installers available to ensure your seat is fitted correctly. We can do this onsite at our Perth Showroom or can deliver your car seat and fit at your home in Perth. Contact us today to learn more.