Using a correctly-fitted and -sized child restraint (child car seat) will reduce your child’s risk of injury or death in the event of a crash.
- How to correctly fit a child restraint
- Find out which child restraint to use
- Find out about your responsibilities under the law on the NZ Transport Agency website
Children must be restrained at all times when travelling in a vehicle, even when travelling a short distance. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to make sure any child travelling in your vehicle is correctly secured.
If you do have a car crash, restraints can prevent or lessen injury to your child by:
- Keeping your child inside the vehicle.
- Contacting the strongest parts of your child's body and spreading the crash forces over a wide area.
- Helping the body to slow down safely.
- Protecting the head, neck and spinal cord.
Child restraints can be difficult to install - not everyone gets it right and this can affect the restraint’s ability to protect your child in a car crash. Child restraint technicians are available throughout Auckland to assist you to select, install and use child restraints safely.
The specific type of child restraint you need to use depends on the age and size of the child, but it is recommended that children be seated in rearward-facing child restraints for as long as possible, due to the increase in safety these restraints provide.
Read the manufacturer's instructions to find a child car seat that best fits your child.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Infant car seat: birth to at least 1 year old (-13kg).
- Convertible (baby to child) car seat: birth to about 4 years old (-18kgs).
- Front-facing child car seat: 1 year to about 4 years old (9–18kg).
- Booster seat: from about 4 to 10 years old (18–36kg).
- Child safety harness: from about 4 to 10 years old (18–36kg).
As a general rule, if your child's head is higher than the back of the child restraint when seated, it's time to move them into the next type of child restraint.
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