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.