Car seat shopping can be a daunting experience for new parents.

Above all else, you want your child to be safe and secure when they are in your car. With safety laws to follow, as well as knowing which car seat is right for your child (depending on their age and height) and a huge range of brands and styles available, it’s important for new parents to know exactly what they are looking for in a car seat.

Joie Baby’s Product Manager, Chau Duong has this advice for new parents looking to buy a car seat.

“It’s a good idea to think about what your family needs are now and in the future before choosing your child car seat. Consider the following – a seat that offers the versatility to adapt to your family, the ease of use and safety. Once a choice is made, read through the manufacturer’s manual thoroughly for correct fitting to your vehicle, how to regularly check and maintain it and most importantly, when to adjust the child seat as your child grows. It is worthwhile considering a professional installation as they will also demonstrate these safety points to you. Lastly, keep your manual handy in the storage compartments provided, for quick reference.”

 

10 things to consider when purchasing a car seat

1. Research the car seat your child needs

As children grow they require different types of car seats. In Australia, every state requires children up to 7 years to be restrained in an appropriate restraint.

2. Consider the age and height of the child

Current car seats feature a shoulder height marker and your child should remain in a rear facing seat or position until their shoulder is in-line or above the forward facing height marker.

It’s always safest to keep your child in the car seat that’s most appropriate for your child’s size, regardless of age.

3. New babies need a rearward-facing child restraint (including capsules)
Children under the age of six months must use a rear facing restraint. A child should remain in a forward facing seat until their shoulder height is above the upper shoulder height marker.

Children under the age of six months must use a rear facing restraint.

4. When does your child move into a forward-facing car seat?
When your child outgrows a rearward-facing car seat, they then transition into a forward-facing seat with a built-in five or six point harness. Your little one will be in this seat until at least four years old and when they outgrow the shoulder marker. Some forward-facing car seats can be used up until your child is approximately eight years old.

5. A convertible car seat can be a cost-saver

A convertible car seat can be used as a rear-facing or forward-facing seat with and inbuilt harness. These ‘two-in-one’ child car seats can be a money saver in the long-term as they will grow with your child.

6. All about booster seats
Children aged four years up to seven years must use a forward-facing child car seat with an inbuilt harness or a booster seat with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or child safety harness. Children aged seven years and older must use a booster seat with an adult lap-sash seatbelt or child safety harness, or a standard seat with an adult seatbelt.

The armour fx Joie car seat features a snug fit for newborns to big kids, up to 4 years.

7. Car seat safety standards

All car seats used, bought or sold in Australia need to meet Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754. The safety standards label should be on the packaging and on the car seat itself.

The Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) independently crash tests car seats above and beyond these standards. Results are published for free online at Child Car Seats. All models listed on the CREP website are considered safe, however those with more than one star have an even better safety performance than what’s legally required.

8. Check the seat can fit into your car
Be sure to check how the restraint will fit into your car before you buy it, particularly if you have a smaller car.

9. Installing the car seat

It’s a good idea to have your new car seat professionally fitted or checked at a local fitting service. The fitter can show you how to use the seat properly too.

Check with your state’s local Kidsafe, or with your road traffic authority or motoring organisation.

The car seat should be held tightly by the seatbelt and tether straps, with very little sideways movement. Car seats should not move around more than 3cm in any direction, although infant carriers will have a little give in them, even when correctly installed.

10. Finally, what is ISOFIX?

ISOFIX is a car seat installation system that involves clipping the car seat into anchorage points manufactured into cars. Newer car seats are ISOFIX compatible and are usually easier to install than the old seatbelt system. The old seat belt method is just as safe, when installed correctly.

All about the armour fx Joie car seat

The armour™ fx Joie car seat is suitable rearward facing from birth to approx. 30 months and suitable forward facing from approx. 12 months to four years.

Features of the armour™ fx Joie car seat include:

  • Extra reinforced steel strengthens the car seat body, providing utmost structural strength and resilience.
  • Guard Surround Safety™ panels provide extra side protection and can be individually activated for extra room in vehicle.
  • As you raise the headrest to accommodate kids growing to new heights, the AutoAdjust™ side wings automatically widen to give them more shoulder space.
  • Installation simply clicks with effortless ISOFIX connectors and top tether that lock the seat tightly to your vehicle’s anchor points.
  • 2-way customisable newborn insert for head and body
  • 1 rearward facing recline and 4 forward facing recline positions
  • Colour-coded installation paths
  • 5-point harness with shoulder and lower buckle covers
  • One-pull motion easily tightens the 5-point harness
  • One-hand, 7 position height adjustable headrest
  • Expandable side pockets for storage
  • Cooling fabrics for the ideal temperature
  • Washable cover for easy clean-up
  • Rock-solid features with a luxe finish

Brought to you by Joie Baby.

For more information on the armour™ fx Joie car seat visit the Joie Baby website.