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Whether you’re driving your kids to and from the shops, play dates or soccer practice, you’ll want them to arrive safe and sound.
But if your kids are starting to outgrow their infant or toddler seats, it may be time to start shopping around for a more suitable car restraint.
With child weight, size and height limits to consider as well as the variety of restraints on offer, it can be a confusing and daunting exercise. Where do you start?
Read on and we’ll help you make the right choice.
The winning baby products of the year have all been exhaustively tried, tested and voted on by real mums, bubs and Bounty’s expert panel.
Products were put through their paces over a period of six months in three different settings: at home in real-life situations, in a retail environment and online. The products submitted were assessed on quality, value for money, user-friendliness and innovation.
READ NEXT: All of the 2020 Award Winners
The winners of the Best Car Seat 2020 are:
GOLD: Britax Safe N Sound B-First
SILVER: Britax Safe-n-Sound Unity™ ISOFIX
BRONZE: Bugaboo Bugaboo Turtle
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WATCH: Keep kids safe when you’re on the road. Continues after video …
From the time you drive them home from hospital up until the time they’re ready to use an adult seatbelt, it will be your job to ensure they are in the correct car restraint.
Every child is different, but as a general rule, it’s recommended that you only move them up when they no longer comfortably fit their current child car seat.
Most children will be required to travel in a car seat or booster seat until they’re about 10 to 12 years old.
As important as the type of car or booster seat is, ensuring that it’s correctly fitted and adjusted is equally as critical to safety.
According to Britax, car crashes are one of the leading causes of child death in Australia, yet around 70 per cent of our smallest travellers ride in child restraints that are not fitted or used correctly.
Requirements vary between the states and territories, but all child car restraints are required to meet the Australian Standards (AS/NZS 1754), which covers materials, design, construction, performance, testing and labelling.
As a general rule, buying or using hand-me-down second-hand car or booster seats is not recommended because older models may no longer comply with current safety standards.
However, if you are leaning towards a second-hand model, ensure it’s never been in a car crash, isn’t more than six years old, doesn’t display any cracking or fraying and can be safely installed in your car.
The minimum legal requirements in Australia by age group:
Britax Safe N Sound B-First RRP $849
b-first features CLICKTIGHT Installation System and Advanced Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT).
CLICKTIGHT Installation System brings a unique patented technology to Australia, designed to provide effortless and secure installation, every time. Dealing with crash energy earlier, the Advanced SICT combines advanced safety and freedom of space.
Designed to reduce everyday misuse, and offer overall increased protection, b-first offers safety and flexibility.
Britax Safe-n-Sound Unity™ ISOFIX, RRP $499
The Unity™ ISOFIX compatible baby capsule is Australia’s first baby capsule suitable for newborn up to 12 months (approx.).
It is also the only baby capsule tested and approved for low birth weight and premature infants without restrictive medical conditions.
Provides your little one with the ultimate security with the Unity’s high sidewalls providing maximum side impact protection and use of ISOFLEX™ connectors to ensure an easier installation, correct fit and a safer journey every time.
With the addition of Thermo5® high performance fabric with Bamboo Charcoal, your child will travel in quality and comfort.
Bugaboo Bugaboo Turtle, RRP $599
Designed in collaboration with well-known car seat brand Nuna, the Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna is Bugaboo’s exciting new expansion into a capsule that perfectly complements their prams.
Combining their expertise, Nuna and Bugaboo have designed a product built with smart simplicity and intuitive design. The Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna offers a complete travel system which means parents are set from day one – no matter where their journey takes them or how they move.
The Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna includes the capsule, Isofix base and adapters, enabling parents to transition smoothly and seamlessly from car to pram without waking a sleeping baby. The Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna features a lightweight shell at 4kg and ergonomic handle for easy carrying.
Comfort for child is considered with the adjustable head-support, signature Bugaboo canopy with mesh peek-a-boo and a UPF 50+ ‘smart visor’ which creates a quiet cocoon for restful sleeps. The capsule also includes a washable merino wool insert which provides optimal climate control. Designed with safety as a key feature, the Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna is positioned rearwards facing and includes a rigid isofix base with 2-way confirmation indicating a correct and safe installation as well as the true lock™ installation base with tether strap.
It includes an adjustable head rest for the perfect fit and optimal safety, while considering side impact protection with the Patented Tailor tech™ memory foam. As with all Bugaboo products, the Bugaboo Turtle includes the no thread 5-point harness for maximum security and ease of use. The Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna + Base includes a complete capsule, isofix base and pram adapters.
Cybex Cloud Q Capsule