Booster seats

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    I have read loads in this and seem to know the answer but just checking..


    My children are 7 and 10 and use a booster seat in the UK. The seats do not have a back on them and use the regular seat belt and I am confused whether they need a full seat, a booster with a back in australia.


    i was planning on bringing the seats as they down take up much room on flight in terms of luggage but I am conscious that I want to be all above board etc..


    Can you buy plain booster seats without backs in Oz? Our kids are mortified at the thought of going back to a "baby seat" as they put it.



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    Summary of changes

    The new national child restraint laws state:



    • Children younger than six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint.
    • Children aged six months to under four years must be secured in either a rear or forward facing restraint.
    • Children aged four years to under seven years must be secured in forward facing child restraint or booster seat.
    • Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows.
    • Children aged four years to under seven years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.


    Now, all children up to seven years of age must now be safely fastened into the right restraint for their age and size


    It would seem that you do not need them after the age of 7. My granddaughters are 7 & 10 and the youngest has just stopped using her booster seat.

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    It depends on how comfortable you are with your children sitting in the back seat without any kind of boost - I wish we'd put our 3 Britax high back boosters in our container because although mine are 11,10 & 7 the seat belts still come right across their necks in the back of our Holden Commodore and that's with the no-back boosters we found in K-Mart. We bought the youngest a seat with side protection from Toys R Us just to be on the safe side but the older two aren't keen (and the only ones I've seen that they would fit into cost $179 from the RAA shop) although I hate to see them slumped.


    It's odd really because the laws are really very stringent up to 7 here and especially the top-tethering which is a really good safety issue but after then it seems not to matter too much at all.


    If you've room I'd bring them.

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    I agree its good to still use boosters even though the rules disappear for them over the age of 7 .BUt English seats aren't legal here. So you could probably do with buying one certainly for your 7YO. We have Britax Hi Liners which still have a tether strap thing on it (making it better than the British ones which don't) and it also has a safety device that connects on the lap part of the belt. So actually they are better than the plain booster seats.


    I personally think that car seats here are a nightmare. Yes the seats are great with the tether straps but so many other things- the age requirements for turning them around, the fact that rear facing seats aren't available past the age of 1, etc, and most people turn babies around far too soon... this is my LEAST favourite thing about living here.

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    This is one area where Aus laws are a bit behind and it really is an area I wish they would improve on sooner rather than later. However, Safe n Sound (Britax Aus) have finally come out with a new Hi Liner that is intended for use up to age 10 (dependant on height etc).




    There are two others also they sell but iirc this one rates the best.


    I agree totally with the above link and find it hard to believe anyone would just take their kid out of a car seat at 7 and let them sit without one and use an adult seat belt. Until recently there wasn't really an option to carry on using a high back booster for your kid in the Aus car seat range but they are finally listening to parents who want to ensure their kids are travelling as safely as possible till a height where a car seat isn't going to be of any more real benefit. That is around age 12, give or take on height a bit which is 5 years more than Aus laws stipulate car seats to be used to.


    The Hi Liner will give you good use and having a high back is far better in terms of stability and safety than any sit on booster (without back). It will also ensure the seatbelt is fitted correctly across the body and so on. Most of the main car seat manufacturers are either not making the sit on ones anymore or phasing them out. Everything is high back. Personally I would never put a child one one of those whatever their age as they have nothing to secure them in place and in event of impact or emergency stopping they can slip out from under a child or move sideways far more.


    The Hi liner will install with a top tether and seatbelt round the child thereby securing it safely.


    The only downside to it is that it has arm rests but so long as the seat belt is fed under the arm rests and not over the top of them, thereby ensuring it is fitted properly around the child, it isn't an issue. Problems can arise with arm rests if seat belts are put over them as this means they are not in the correct position, there is slack where there shouldn't be any and in event of impact or heavy breaking your child has that inch or two of room that can make all the difference to what injuries they may sustain or the severity of them.



    ETA - I still struggle with that in the EU and elsewhere the same Britax seat pretty much is for up to age 12 and in Aus because of their testing standards and other factors they only are listed as up to ages 8-10. I have a Britax seat I use for my son here in the UK and its for up to age 12. I do plan to bring it with us but shall be buying the Hi Liner (or whatever else car seat wise that gives me options past 7 and is highly rated etc) for him to use. And I fully intend to keep him in a highback booster till he reaches the height where an adult seatbelt and no car seat is safe for him to use.

    Edited by snifter

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