baby seat

Buckle Up – Child Seat Safety Tips

Ensuring your kids are safe is the top of most parents priorities. So if you are planning to drive with children, ensuring they are safely buckled into a seat that has been installed correctly should also be as important.

Research shows that children who are restrained incorrectly are up to seven times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than children who are fitted in the correct child car seat for their age and size. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions displayed on the side of all child seats carefully when fitting the seat and placing your child in it. If unsure, or seek advice from our qualified car rental staff. Here are the basics:

Child Restraint Tips

Fitting child seats (ones with built-in harnesses)

For all child restraints make sure your car seat belt is correctly pathed through the restraint and firmly tightened. Over-tightening isn’t necessary and won’t help much. Just make sure it’s firm.For rear facing restraints make sure the top strap is connected to the correct anchor point in your car and that it’s just tight enough to remove the slack. If it’s too tight it will lift the restraint off the car seat and make it unstable.

For forward facing restraints make sure the top strap is connected to the correct anchor point in your car and that it’s tight enough to hold the top of the restraint in place. Get this one as firm as your seat belt in this position. If you’re not sure that your child seat is correctly fitted, ask a Redspot Car Rentals representative to review.

 Fitting Booster Seats

As a general rule, foam booster seats don’t need to be connected to the anchor point in your car. Because of their weight however, plastic booster seats often do. A booster seat is not ‘safer’ just because it’s anchored to your car. Extra harnesses with booster seats are often not necessary and can sometimes reduce their effectiveness if used incorrectly. If you have a need to use a harness with a booster seat then it’s best to have this professionally demonstrated and fitted. Redspot Car Rentals supplied booster seats do not require to be anchored.

Don’t use a booster seat with just a lap belt in a car. If this is the only seating position available then talk with a Redspot Car Rentals staff member about your options. All Redspot Car Rentals vehicles have strapped seat belts in the back seats. When using a booster seat with a lap-sash belt, make sure the sash portion of the belt is deflected away from your child’s neck by the booster seat’s guides. Also make sure the lap portion of the belt is travelling low across the child’s hips or upper thighs. The lap portion of the belt should never pass over your child’s stomach.

 Day to day usage tips for child seats

Before placing your child into a child seat, make sure it’s still properly installed. The seat belts holding your child seat can come loose and they may have been unbuckled my mistake. Place your child in the seat with the harnesses loosened. Make sure they are also not twisted (twists may harm your child in the event of an accident). Buckle your child in and then tighten the harnesses.
This procedure will ensure your harnesses are properly adjusted every time you travel with your child. When taking your child out of their seat, loosen the harnesses first before releasing the buckle. This makes it easier to take your child out of the car, as well as reduces the risk of introducing a twist to the harnesses. Aim to have the harnesses of your child seat level with or slightly above your child’s shoulders. Make sure your child’s eye level is below the top of the child seat.

Legal Requirements

All children must be safely fastened in the correct child car seat for their age and size. A child who is properly secured in an approved child car seat is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.

child car seat 6 months

Up to 6 Months 
Rear facing child seat

child car seat 6months to 4 years

6 months to 4 years
Rear facing child car seat.

child seat 4+ years

4+ Years
Forward facing child seat or booster seat

145cm or taller
Minimum height to use adult lap-sash belt.

National Child Restraint Laws

  • Children up to the age of six months must be secured in an approved rearward facing restraint
  • Children aged from six months old but under four years old must be secured in either a rear or forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness
  • Children under four years old cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows
  • Children aged from four years old but under seven years old must be secured in a forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat
  • Children aged from four years old but under seven years old cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in an approved child restraint or booster seat
  • Children aged from seven years old but under 16 years old who are too small to be restrained by a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened are strongly recommended to use an approved booster seat
  • Children in booster seats must be restrained by a suitable lap and sash type approved seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened, or by a suitable approved child safety harness that is properly adjusted and fastened.

If your child is too small for the child restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in their current child restraint until it is safe for them to move to the next level.

If your child is too large for the child restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of child restraint.

Seek help if you are unsure

At the end of the day, all the staff at Redspot Car Rentals are here to help. We even have trained and qualified child seat installers on site that will assist you with whatever you need. And if you want to clarify something before you arrive, just give us a call on 1300 668 810 or email [email protected]

published January 5, 2015

6 thoughts on “Buckle Up – Child Seat Safety Tips”

  1. I have a few questions before I rent a car:

    1. I have a 6 yrs old son (below 110cm height). Is it require to have a booster seat?
    2. Do I need to apply for International driving license?
    3. I will be in Perth for a vacation (Thursday – Sunday). Is there parking fee during weekends? Do I need to purchase a parking card like in Singapore?
    4. The toll fee is pay per use or is it the same like Singapore which you need to purchase a card?

    1. Hi Cythia,

      Thanks for contacting us. Below I’ve addresses each of your points.
      1. Each state have there own regulations which varies. However overall a minimum of 145cm tall is required for any child’s height before they don’t need a booster seat. Have a read through this site it may help.
      2. Depends. If you have a Singapore licence and are staying here for less than 3 months, you won’t need an international licence. I suggest reading our article:
      3. If you are in Perth CBD area, you will likely need to pay for parking, even on the weekends. There are plenty of parking options, and there is even an app you can download that will help you find available ones:
      4. All our vehicles are fitted with an electronic toll tag. If you purchase to activate the tag you will have unlimited use during your duration of hire. In saying that, if you are only travelling to Perth, you will be happy to know there are no toll roads in Western Australia. For more information please read

  2. We recently purchased Buckle Safe buckle from your company and unfortunately it is missing the small orange piece so it can be used to cover a seatbelt. The buckle is small and red and fits over top of seat belt buckle to prevent students from undoing the seatbelt. In the picture on the back of the product it shows the orange bit in the buckle but it didn’t come with the buckle.
    Your help with this matter would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Janet. Sounds like you need to speak to the reseller of Buckle Safe seats. We are a car rental company, and only rent baby seats with our rental vehicles. We’re not in the business of selling baby seats. Hope that helps.

  3. Hi,
    I hope to hire a car with a rear facing child seat in Melbourne in March. What type of seats/ brands/ do you have available?
    My daughter will be 18months though is still below her shoulder markers in her current car seat for forward facing and so remains safely rear facing. I hope to continue this.

    1. Hi Emily,

      We run mostly the Britax Safe n Sound range of seats (can be slightly different at various locations). All our standard baby seats have the ability to be positioned in rear-facing capability for infants and come with optional extra padding to support the childs neck area etc. See link for an example:

      If you have any questions at all (I have kids around the same age, and use these seats regularly) I’m more than happy to help answer.


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