There’s a vast different in the quality of protection they offerIt’s now easier for parents to choose a child car seat based on its level of crash protection and ease of use.
The NSW Centre for Road Safety and the NRMA have introduced a safety rating system for new child seats, similar to the highly successful ANCAP vehicle crash testing program.
Seats are subjected to three crash tests and awarded a star rating of one of five, with being the safest. While all seats comply with the Australian Safety Standard, one of the most demanding in the world, there’s a vast difference in the quality of protection they offer.
Currently, only 13 child car seats have been tested through the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) to measure their protection performance and ease of use. In the first round of results, six seats received one star for protection, including the Maxi-Cosi Citi (rear facing), Maxi-Cosi Luna (forward facing), Babylove Cosmic 11(forward facing), InfaSecure Luxi 11 (forward facing), and InfaSecure Grandeur Treo (forward facing). The Nuna Klik (rear facing) scored a maximum of five stars, while the Safe-N-Sound Kid Guard Pro scored four stars for both protection and ease of use.
While the new star ratings are designed to remove confusion for parents when buying a child restraint, NRMA road safety expert, Dimitra Vlahmitros says another concern is ensuring the seats are installed and used correctly.
“These ratings should help improve the quality of seats for sale by encouraging manufacturers to work on raising the safety and ease-of-use rating of their products to five stars,” she says.
Ratings and restraint fitting stations across NSW can be found at www.childcarseats.com.au