Bar­gain boost­ers

The Courier-Mail - Weekend Shopper - - Weekend Shopper - - KYLIE McIN­TOSH

When it comes to kit­ting out chil­dren most items are ex­pen­sive, par­tic­u­larly baby items like cap­sules and booster seats.

Week­end Shop­per of­fers a va­ri­ety of dis­counted child re­straints to ease the eco­nomic strain.

Th­ese range from baby cap­sules and car seats to booster cush­ions and seats.

Last month, Queens­land laws re­lat­ing to chil­dren’s re­straints changed.

As part of the new reg­u­la­tions, chil­dren up to seven years of age must be seated in a child re­straint when trav­el­ling in a ve­hi­cle.

The changes were made to sim­plify laws for par­ents and car­ers alike.

For more de­tails on the changes visit: www.racq.com.au

In terms of buy­ing a used child re­straint it’s worth check­ing a few things prior to pur­chase.

There should be an Aus­tralian Stan­dards sticker or a heat stamp on it with the date it was made.

An RACQ spokesman said while there is no use-by date for re­straints, the motoring or­gan­i­sa­tion urged buy­ers to “ex­er­cise cau­tion” if a re­straint was more than 10 years old.

The spokesman said buy­ers should ask the seller about the his­tory of the re­straint, whether it’s a hand-me-down or whether it’s ever been in an ac­ci­dent. It’s dif­fi­cult to tell with the naked eye whether a re­straint has been in a car ac­ci­dent and ei­ther of th­ese things can com­pro­mise the re­straint.

Buy­ers should en­sure the re­straint comes with all req­ui­site fit­tings, ac­ces­sories and in­struc­tion man­ual and that it’s age, and weight, ap­pro­pri­ate for your child.

For ex­am­ple, ba­bies (aged 0 to six months) must be se­cured in an ap­proved rear-ward fac­ing baby cap­sule or in­fant re­straint that is prop­erly fas­tened and ad­justed. It’s im­per­a­tive par­ents check the new reg­u­la­tions to en­sure they buy the cor­rect cap­sule or seat.

Sim­i­larly, chil­dren (aged four to seven years) must be se­cured in an ap­proved booster seat with an H-harness or a booster seat with a se­cured adult seat­belt that is prop­erly fas­tened and ad­justed. The child must be se­cured in this man­ner up un­til they turn seven years of age.

The RACQ ad­vises that a Con­vert­ible Booster Seat is suit­able for chil­dren rang­ing from eight to 26 kilo­grams (the av­er­age weight of a seven-year-old), while a child seat with an in-built harness is the pre­ferred re­straint for chil­dren up to 18 kilo­grams. There are three types of booster seats avail­able: Booster seats with a back - th­ese of­fer more pro­tec­tion than one without a back and some of­fer more head sup­port for a sleep­ing child. Child car seat/booster seat com­bi­na­tions - th­ese can be used as a car seat un­til the child reaches 18kg, then the harness straps can be tucked away in­side the seat and it be­comes a booster with a lap/sash belt. Booster cush­ions - RACQ does not rec­om­mend th­ese as they have no back and of­fer less pro­tec­tion in a crash than the other two types with back sup­port. While they are not rec­om­mended, some in­stances, such as space avail­able on the rear seat due to other child re­straints be­ing utilised for smaller chil­dren, may ne­ces­si­tate their us­age. RACQ’s tips for buy­ing a booster seat in­clude: Pur­chase a booster seat, equipped with a top tether where pos­si­ble, as this helps to se­cure the booster in the ve­hi­cle En­sure that the booster has a seat belt guide so that the sash passes over the child’s shoul­der and does not cut into their neck En­sure that the seat belt rests against the child and that a gap does not ex­ist be­tween the child’s torso and the seat belt Some boost­ers use a clip at­tached to the lap part of the seat belt to form a crotch strap. This is de­signed to pre­vent a child from ‘sub­marin­ing’ un­der the belt in a crash Week­end Shop­per of­fers booster cush­ions from $10, baby car seats from $50 and booster seats from $15.

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