Print

Child restraints

When to move to the next type of restraint

Australian Standards approved forward-facing child restraint showing the shoulder height markings

Recently approved child restraints will have markings on the seat that show the upper and lower seated shoulder height of the child. You can move your child to the next type of restraint when their seated shoulder height is above the top mark on the restraint.

If your child restraint complies with an older Australian standard, your child can move to the next type of restraint when:

  • their eye level is above the back of the restraint
    or
  • the harness straps are more than 25mm below the child's shoulder height.

Some children may be too large for their age specific type of child restraint. If your child is too large to fit into a restraint specified for their age, you may move your child into the next level of restraint.

For example:

  • a 3 year old child that is too big for a child seat can be seated in a booster seat with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or a fastened and adjusted H-Harness
    or
  • a 6 year old that is too big for a booster seat can progress to a standard seat with an adult seatbelt.

Some children may be too small for their age specific type of restraint. If your child is too small to move into a restraint specified for their age, you should keep them in the lower level of child restraint for as long as necessary.

For example:

  • a child who has turned 4 but is too small for a booster seat should remain in a forward facing child restraint with built-in harness
    or
  • a child who has turned 7, but is too small for a standard seat with an adult seatbelt should remain in a booster seat.

In this guide:

  1. Types of child restraints
  2. When to move to the next type of restraint
  3. Installing a child restraint
  4. Where children should sit
  5. Exemptions from complying with standard child restraint laws