If you are a parent looking at buying a new child car seat or expecting a child, you will no doubt be carrying out research into the safest and easiest to use car seats on the market.
Since, September 2014, there is a new system on the block – the ISOFIX. Australia has been slow to approve it for use as like all new child safety equipment it had to be tested for compliance with the current AS/NZ Safety Standard for Child Safety Restraint before being approved for use in Australia. The system had already been adopted for use throughout Europe, The United States and Canada.
The ISOFIX system, is not replacing the existing seatbelt system currently in use, nor claiming to be a safer system, but rather providing another option for parents and carers.
Many people ask whether they can use here in Australia an ISOFIX system bought overseas. The simple answer is, no. Australia has one of the highest standards in safety requirements for car seats, and require stringent testing.
The ISOFIX system in Australia works by attaching to low anchorages in the vehicle, but in addition, here in Australia it is still compulsory to use a top tether strap.
Studies have shown that two out of three car seats are installed incorrectly, the ISOFIX provides a system that helps to reduce human error. It does this by a click-in-place system that shows green indicators when installed correctly.
Whilst the ISOFIX system is more expensive than the standard seatbelted car seats, they are proving very popular, with the Maxi Cosi – the first to introduce ISOFIX in Australia being in the greatest demand. ISOFIX is now available through other brands such as Britax.
Whether you choose a car seat that uses ISOFIX compatible connectors or the vehicle seatbelt, we urge you to take care when fitting and using child car seats. They need to be:
- The right size for the child
- Correctly fitted to the vehicle – in some cases by an Accredited Child Restraint Fitter
- Properly adjusted to the child and fastened
If you would like further information on the ISOFIX system, please visit www.childcarseats.com.au/faqs or to find out whether your local All Baby Hire has any ISOFIX compatible products available, please contact us today.