Child Safety Seat Age
Child restraints are sometimes the subject of manufacturing recalls. Recalls vary in severity; sometimes the manufacturer will send an additional part for the seat, other times they will provide an entirely new seat.
2013: New EU I-Size regulation is introduced: “i-Size” is the name of a new European safety regulation, UNECE Regulation 129 that affects car seats for children under 15 months of age. It came into effect in July 2013 and provides extra protection in several ways, most notably by providing rearward facing travel for children up to 15 months instead of 9 to 12 months, which the previous EU regulation advised. Read more about I-Size. This new regulation is to be phased in between 2013 and 2018 and will be run in parallel to UNECE R44/04 until 2018 when it completely supersedes it.
Though there are hundreds of variations of makes and models in the world of child safety seats, the materials used in the manufacturing process are basically the same. Factories in which the seats are put together receive loads of polypropylene pellets. Foam makes up the padding of the individual seats, while vinyl and fabrics are used to make up the covers for the seats as well as the harnesses.
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
Special rules apply to children travelling in vehicles first registered (in New Zealand or elsewhere) before 1 November 1979 since these vehicles are not required to be fitted with seat belts on all seats.
The responsibility for children under the age of 16 using restraints or safety belts correctly rests with the driver. In Queensland, penalties for drivers not ensuring that passengers under the age of 16 are properly restrained involve a fine of A$300 and three demerit points. In Victoria the penalty is a fine of A$234 and three demerit points. Possible suspension or cancellation of license may also apply.
For a child restraint to be sold or used within any of the 56 UNECE member states it must be approved by the standards of UNECE Regulation 44/04, Directive 77/541/EEC or any other subsequent adaptation thereto. In order to be granted ECE R44 approval the child restraint must comply with several design, construction and production conformity standards. If approval is granted the seat can display an orange label with the unique approval license number, the type of approval, the mass group approved for and the details of the manufacturer.
Convertible seats can be used throughout many stages. Many convertible seats will transition from a rear-facing seat, to a forward-facing seat, and some then can be used as a booster seat. Many convertible seats allow for 2.3–18 kg (5-40 lb.) rear-facing, allowing children to be in the safer rear-facing position up to a weight of 18 kg (40 lbs).