- Never let your child travel in the front seat of the car. It is the most dangerous place you can put them.
- Always make sure your restraint is the right size for your child, and keep the straps tight with no twists in the webbing.
- Have your child restraint professionally fitted for peace of mind, and learn from the fitter how to do it yourself. Your restraint needs to be tight and secure – if it wobbles around like jelly it’s no good!
- Use a restraint with a five-point harness for as long as possible – it is the best protection for a child of any age. Many countries insist on children using a restraint with a five-point harness up to a minimum age of twelve.
- Finally, always keep your child restraint safely secured by using a Hurphy Durphy Seat Belt Buckle Guard. If the buckle acting as an anchor for your restraint is accidently undone, the restraint becomes a catapult in the case of an accident or sudden braking situation. I always say there are many external factors outside of our control when travelling on the roads, so eliminate the risks you can control and keep your anchor points protected.
The Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board (comprised of members from each state and territory, as well as from New Zealand) has assessed the Hurphy Durphy and found that is not a modification to a vehicle, and therefore does not hinder the removal of a child from a vehicle in an emergency. The product has been accepted by all regulatory and interested motoring and child safety organisations nationwide. The US has no requirement for Federal or State Certification to sell the product.
In Australia, the Federal Government has passed laws covering the use and installation of child restraints to try and combat the loss of children’s lives in motor vehicle accidents.
A summary of the laws is provided here:
- Zero to six-month-old babies will have to be in approved baby capsule (rear facing) that is correctly fitted and fastened.
- Children aged six months to four years must be in an approved child restraint with a built-in five-point harness (rear or forward facing) that is correctly fitted and fastened.
- Children aged four to seven years must be in either a child restraint with its own five-point harness (forward facing) that is correctly fitted and fastened, or a correctly positioned booster seat with the normal seatbelt correctly fastened.
- Children under the age of four are not allowed to travel in the front seat of any car that ahs rear passenger seats.
- Children aged four to seven years must always travel in the back seat of the car unless there is no other option available.
- If a passenger is less than six months old, he or she must be restrained in a suitable, properly fastened and adjusted rear facing approved child restraint.
- If a passenger is 6 months or older, but is less than four years old, he or she must be restrained in a suitable, properly fastened and adjusted
a) rear facing approved child restraint
b) forward facing approved child restraint with an in-built harness.
- If a passenger is four years or older, but is less than seven years old, he or she must
a) be restrained in a suitable, properly fastened and adjusted forward facing approved child restraint that has an in-built harness
b) a properly positioned approved booster seat and be restrained by a seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened
- A passenger who is under four years old must never travel in the front row of a motor vehicle that has two or more rows of seats.
- A passenger who is four years or older, but less than seven years old, must not travel in the front row of
a motor vehicle that has two or more rows of seats unless all the other seats in the row or rows behind the front row are occupied by passengers under the age of seven years.
For more information on Australian legislation, click here.
Global child restraint laws
South Africa: Children must be in a child restraint until the age of twelve.
Germany: Children under twelve years of age or under 1.5 metres are required to use a dedicated child restraint system.
France: Children under twelve years of age and under 1.35 metres are required to use a dedicated child restraint system.
Switzerland: Children from zero to seven years of age are required to be in dedicated child restraint systems approved to Economic Commission for Europe regulation 44. For children aged seven to twelve years (1.5 metres tall), dedicated child restraint systems are recommended by the authorities.
Japan: Children from zero to five years are required to be in a dedicated child restraint system.