Rules for Car Seats in Queensland for Babies
Updated 2019 using information found on the Child Restraints section of the Queensland Department of Transport website. There are some parts of parenting that are so important to get right, and having the correct car seat fitted properly for your baby is one of them. It sometimes seems like the Parental Grapevine has new theories on the laws for car seats all the time, so let’s get the facts right.
Queensland rules and laws
Car seat requirements for babies are quite clear and simple:
Birth – 6 Months
- Baby must be in a rear-facing baby capsule or rear-facing convertible infant restraint that is properly fastened and adjusted.
- It is recommended that babies stay in a rear-facing restraint for as long as their size allows.
- Baby capsules are also available to hire from Kidsafe.
6 Months +
- If no longer able to fit in a rear-facing restraint, children aged over 6 months must be in a forward facing child restraint with inbuilt harness.
- This restraint must be used until they outgrow the restraint by height (or weight if it is an older seat).
- Please refer to the Queensland Department of Transport link below for specific information about how to tell when a child has outgrown a seat.
The law does change from time to time and we would advise checking the Queensland Department of Transport website before making a decision about the type of restraint you use – https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/children/when-to-move.
Rearward facing child car seats in Queensland for babies
Kidsafe recommends that babies remain in their rearward facing restraint until they outgrow it (by height or weight) and/or they can self-support their head and reach the minimum shoulder height of the forward facing seat.
Your child restraint must comply with the Australian Standard (AS1754 or AS/NZ1754). An Australian Standards Tick logo needs to be visible on all approved child restraints.
Second-hand child restraints
Purchasing multiple restraints for multiple kids can become an expensive exercise. Whilst Kidsafe do not recommend using or purchasing a second-hand restraint if this is an option you want to pursue there are a few things to remember:
- It is recommended that the restraint be under 10 years old. The straps can start to deteriorate after this amount of time, so, to ensure they work properly, stick to a restraint that is less than 10 years old.
- The Australian Standards Sticker must be visible.
- An instructions label must be visible and the restraint must have an instructions book (this is often tucked into a pouch on one of the straps behind the seat).
- Do not use a restraint that has been in an accident or submerged in floodwaters.
- There must be no wear and tear on the straps or buckles.
- Ensure you check that the adjusters still work correctly.
Additionally, child restraints purchased overseas (either new or second-hand) may only be used in Queensland if they comply with AS/NZS 1754.
Correct fitting of baby car restraints
It is also important to make sure that your car restraint or capsule is correctly fitted to your vehicle. Ensure you read the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your restraint. Check your Vehicle Owner’s Manual to locate the anchor points in your car. For something as important as this it may be necessary to bring in the professionals. For a fee you can have this professionally fitted or checked by Kidsafe or at an RACQ Vehicle Inspection Station.
Penalties in Queensland for not having a child restraint correctly installed
Our babies are precious and their safety is our top priority. The penalties for not having your baby correctly restrained reflects this with a $391 fine and 3 demerit points for each child that is not restrained properly. Double demerit points will apply for second or subsequent child restraint or seatbelt offences committed within 1 year after an earlier offence.
If you have any questions about the choice, purchase or fitting of your baby restraint or capsule you can contact Kidsafe on ph (07) 3854 1829, or check out their website at www.kidsafeqld.com.au. You can also find useful information on the Queensland Transport website.
NOTE: This information is current as at 24 April 2019. For specific and up-to-date information, we always recommend contacting Kidsafe or the Department of Main Road in Queensland, as laws can and do change.
Please also see our post on Rules for Car Seats in Queensland for Kids.