Child Safety Seat Age
By law every child restraint sold in Australia must carry the Australian Standard AS/NZ1754 sticker (pictured right). Most overseas child restraints, including restraints from Europe and the USA, do not comply with these Standards and cannot legally be used in Australia. This also applies for ISOFIX child restraints imported from Europe or the USA.
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).
Since the first car was manufactured and put on the market in the early 1900s, many modifications and adjustments have been implemented to protect those that drive and ride in motorized vehicles. Most restraints were put into place to protect adults without regard for young children. Though child seats were beginning to be manufactured in the early 1930s, their purpose was not the safety of children. The purpose was to act as booster seats to bring the child to a height easier for the driving parent to see them. It was not until 1962 that two designs with the purpose of protecting a child were developed independently. British inventor Jean Ames created a rear-facing child seat with a Y-shaped strap similar to today's models. American Leonard Rivkin, of Denver Colorado, designed a forward-facing seat with a metal frame to protect the child. It is noted that seat belts for adults were not standard equipment in automobiles until the 1960s.
However, until May 9, 2008 member states may have permitted the use of child restraint systems approved in accordance with their national standards. EuroNCAP has developed a child-safety-protection rating to encourage improved designs. Points are awarded for universal child-restraint anchorages ISOFIX, the quality of warning labels and deactivation systems for front-passenger airbags.
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.
There are several types of car seats, which vary in the position of the child and size of the seat. The United Nations European Regional standard ECE R44/04 categorizes these into 4 groups: 0-3. Many car seats combine the larger groups 1, 2 and 3. Some new car models includes stock restraint seats by default.
After reaching one year of age and 20 pounds (9.1 kg), children may travel in forward-facing seats. Most Scandinavian countries require children to sit rear-facing until at least the age of 4 years. This has contributed to Sweden having the lowest rate of children killed in traffic in international comparisons.
Booster seats lift the child and allow the seat belt to sit firmly across the collar bone and chest, with the lap portion fitted to the hips. If the seat belt is not across the collar bone and the hips, it will ride across the neck and the stomach and cause internal injuries in the event of a collision.