17 Jul 2019

When to Change Your Child's Car Seat

Many parents reach the stage where they wonder if their child is too big for their car seat.

When should they change? When should children stop being in a car seat altogether? At what age is an infant car seat too small?

Below is an informative look at the rules around the car seat, what should happen and when:

Using a child car seat or booster seat

Government guidelines stipulate that children must use a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. After that, seat belts become the expected norm.

How can I tell if the car seat isn’t appropriate?

The key to realising if your child is in the wrong seat is if their head is extending above the back of the seat. Ideally, a baby should stay in the rearward-facing seat until they are over 15 months old and can sit up for 30 minutes or more by themselves.

How long is too long in a car seat?

For a baby, it is advised to take regular breaks on long car journeys with two hours being stated as the longest gap you should leave between stops. This allows both you and baby to get out of the car, move around and take a break from the driving position you are adopting and the safe position baby is assuming in the car seat.

When to change car seats?

Car seats are grouped based on the child’s weight. The range of groups is 0 to three:

Group 0 (0 to10kg), Group 0+ (0 to 13kg), Group 1 (9kg to 18kg), Group 2 (15kg to 25kg) and Group 3 (22kg to 36kg).

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