Fact: Car seats save lives. In 2019, the Queensland Department of Transport released a new set of child restraint laws to ensure your kids are kept safe at every age. As they start to outgrow car seats and other restraints, it’s important to understand the type of harness you need to install. Below, we break down the car seat laws in Queensland based on your child’s age.
Up to 6 Months Old
If you have a newborn or a baby up to six months old, they need to stay in a rear-facing restraint with an in-built harness. Ensure you’re properly fastening and adjusting their harness for maximum safety. A rear-facing seat is designed to support your baby’s head, neck and spine, as it will cocoon their body if you’re ever in a collision.
6 Months to 4 Years
Once your child is over six months old, you can upgrade to a forward-facing car seat with an in-built harness. However, use their size rather than their age as a guide to switching to forward-facing, as children grow at different rates. Keep an eye on the shoulder-height indicators on your restraint to decipher whether they’ve outgrown their current restraint.
4 to 7 Years
Children between the ages of four and seven can remain in a forward-facing car seat with an in-built harness, or they can upgrade to booster cushions. According to the Queensland laws, these must be secured with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or a fastened and adjusted H-Harness. If you’re wondering what a booster cushion is, it’s a seat without the back and side wings of a car seat, so it allows your child to become accustomed to sitting in a standard seat.
7 Years & Over
When you’re driving with a child aged seven or over, they’re legally allowed to sit in a standard seat with an adult seatbelt, which is designed for people at least 145cm tall. Most seven-year-olds are generally too small to wear an adult seatbelt safely, so you can also continue using an approved booster seat or forward-facing car seat depending on their height.
To tell whether your kid can safely move to an adult seatbelt, check whether they can sit with their backs firmly against the seat and bend their knees comfortably over the front cushion. You can also assess if the seatbelts sit across their mid-shoulder and the top of their thighs. If so, they’ll be secure in the case of a collision.
We Are Here For You
Follow this guide to ensure you’re abiding by the child restraint laws to keep your children safe (while avoiding a hefty fine). If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the knowledgeable team at Revolution Law.