TIPS

Choose the safest car seat for your child

The NSW Government and NRMA have released new safety ratings to help parents choose the safest car seat for their child.

Thirteen child car seats were tested in three simulated crash tests to measure crash protection performance and ease-of-correct-use.

The Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) assesses the crash protection performance of car seats using three simulated crash tests:

  • Frontal impact test – This test simulates a situation where a correctly restrained child is involved in a head-on crash with another car of similar mass travelling at the same speed. The car seat is evaluated in term of its ability to retain the dummy’s head and torso, minimise the forward and upward motions of the dummy’s head, manage the crash energy, maintain the car seat’s structural integrity, and ensure the harness buckle is still working properly after the test.
  • Side impact test – The simulates a situation where a correctly restrained child in a car is struck from the side (90 degrees) by another car of similar mass. The car seat is evaluated in term of its ability to retain the dummy’s head and torso and maintain the car seat’s structural integrity.
  • Oblique impact test – The test simulates a situation where a correctly restrained child in a car is struck at an angle (66 degrees) by another car of similar mass. The car seat is evaluated in term of its ability to retain the dummy’s head and torso and maintain the car seat’s structural integrity.

The CREP also considers how easy it is to use child car seats correctly by assessing the following five features individually:

  • packaging
  • instructions
  • labels
  • securing and releasing the child
  • securing and releasing the car seat within the vehicle (not used for booster ratings).

While all seats tested comply with Australian Standards, there is a vast difference in the quality of protection they offer, as indicated in the table below.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the new star ratings will help to remove confusion for parents.

“Every parent wants the best for their kids,” Ms Pavey said.

“This new star system will make that decision straight forward,” Ms Pavey said.

Learn more about the testing and rating system HERE

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