Child Safety Seat Information
A safety seat increases the safety of a properly restrained child in the case of a motor vehicle accident. The safety seat includes foam padding, fabric covers, a harness, and buckles or attaching mechanisms. Labels and instructions are also attached. Every child safety seat will have an expiration date on it. The Safe Kids USA organization does not recommend using a child safety seat that is more than 6 years old. Periodically, child safety seats are recalled by manufacturers for safety reasons. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posts a link to recent recall information at nhtsa.gov.
Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI) is a system that requires the service brake to be depressed before the transmission can be shifted out of “park.” Before the introduction of BTSI, it was possible to shift vehicles with automatic transmissions "out of park." Unfortunately, this safety risk could occur even if the vehicle's engine was off or in accessory mode, the driver's foot was not on the brake, and the key was in the ignition. This often led to vehicle rollaway, particularly with unsupervised children playing in vehicles.
Once you’ve become familiar with vehicle and car seat parts used for installation and NHTSA’s tips to install your car seat, you’re ready to follow these detailed car seat installation instructions and videos by type.
Every car seat needs to be installed using either the lower anchors or a seat belt to secure it in place, never both. If you choose to use a seat belt to install your car seat, pay close attention to how to “lock” your seat belt according to the vehicle’s owner manual. With a forward-facing car seat, use a tether if one is available. Before installing your car seat make sure you understand the function and location of the vehicle and car seat parts that are used in installation.
In Australia there are six different types (Type A to Type F) of child restraints under the mandatory standard. Note: these restraints are NOT based on weight but on HEIGHT. All car seats with the AS/NZ1754 sticker will have height markers. These markers show clearly for what height the seat is appropriate.
Rear-facing weight limits range from 9 to 23 kg (20 to 51 lb) depending on the manufacturer and country of origin. Forward-facing limits range from 9 to 40 kg (20 to 88 lb) depending on the seat model and the manufacturer and country of origin.
Convertibles aren't considered the best choice for a newborn because the bottom harness slots are often above the shoulders of most newborns. A seat with low bottom harness slots can be used if it is desired to use a convertible from birth.
BTSI was gradually added to new cars until it was finally required in all vehicles by Model Year 2010. As a result, this type of vehicle rollaway, while possible, is increasingly uncommon. However, vehicle rollaway can still be a problem in vehicles equipped with a keyless ignition or push-button start feature when the vehicle has been turned off and not shifted into park. This is why it is essential to always engage your emergency brake every time you park, regardless of the presence (or lack of) BTSI technology.