Published on April 8th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Child Seats Usage, What To Consider
If you are installing a child seat into your vehicle, it’s important to consider a few factors when deciding what type of car to purchase. Here are a few pointers:
- Consider a car with a centre lap/sash and not a lap only seat belt. If your car doesn’t have one, it is possible in some cars to have the back seat lap-only belt replaced with a lap/sash belt. But if you want to use that position for a restraint, make sure there’s a centre rear anchorage point.
- Ensure the anchorage points are available and accessible and aren’t too close to the seat back so that the tether strap can be adjusted properly.
- Make sure you choose a car that will carry the number of restraints you need. Not all cars have wide enough back seats to carry three restraints at once.
- Restraints come in many different shapes and sizes so always try the restraint in the vehicle before purchasing.
Here are some considerations for various types of cars:
- Make sure you fit a cargo barrier that complies with Australian Standards. Ensure that the cargo barrier has the required opening for the upper tether strap to pass through to the anchorage point.
- Check there’s a clear path between the back seat and the rear anchorage point so the parcel shelf doesn’t interfere with adjustment of the tether strap.
- Luggage and some large items carried in the back often obstruct top tether straps.
- Some hatchbacks can also be fitted with cargo barriers or cargo nets.
MPV/People Movers/7 seaters
- Child restraints may reduce the seating capacity and accessibility in some people movers, so make sure the restraint won’t interfere with your requirements.
- People movers don’t always have anchorages for every rear seating position. Check this first, especially if you are going to carry a number of children in restraints.
- It’s often difficult to fit and use restraints in two-door cars. You may also hurt your back getting children in and out.
- A small car may not have enough room to comfortably fit a rearward facing restraint and a front passenger at the same time. You may only be able to fit a restraint on either side of the vehicle with the front seat all the way forward.