All the facts about car seats
What the law says
It is a legal requirement for children to be restrained in an approved child seat until they are 7 years old. This child seat must meet Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1754 which is generally indicated by a sticker. It is extremely likely that any new car seat you purchase will meet this standard.
Age or size?
All children under the age of 6 months must be secured in a rear facing seat with an in-built harness. While this is a legal requirement, we recommend that you try and keep your child rear facing until they are at least 12 months old as there is more support for them while little bodies develop and grow strong.
Once your child has moved to a forward facing child seat, they must be secured in a seat with an in-built harness until they are at least 4 years old. Most car seats have shoulder height markers which is what you should be looking at, rather than their age.
After the age of 4, your child is legally able to travel in a booster seat with an adult seatbelt; however we strongly encourage you not to move them into a booster seat until they have outgrown their other seat.
Children must not use an adult seatbelt without a child seat (booster seat) until they are at least 7 years old. In fact, experts recommend that children stay in a booster seat until they are 145cm tall!
Our advice to you
It's important to know that if you have a car seat that was manufactured more than 10 years ago, it should be replaced. The age can be located on little dials that indicate month and year of manufacture. The dials can be hard to find but they'll be there; this is industry standard.
We recommend not buying a second hand car seat unless you know the seat's full history. In a vehicle crash powerful enough to activate the vehicles airbags, it is advisable to replace the car seat.
Children are not allowed to sit in the front seat until they are 7 years old but we recommend they remain in the back seat for as long as possible.