How to fit a child restraint

First, read the installation instructions. Surveys indicate that a significant proportion are incorrectly fitted because owners haven’t properly understood or followed the installation instructions.

  • While all restraints have some common aspects to their installation, each type and brand will have some unique requirements that must be complied with to achieve a safe installation.
  • Also, some vehicles either lack the necessary child restraint anchor points or have issues that will require specialised knowledge or solutions to address. 
  • If you don’t feel confident in fitting the restraint yourself, we can help with professional installation. See below for more information.

Choosing a position for the child restraint

Before you attempt a restraint installation there are some points to consider in selecting an appropriate position for it:

  • The most critical aspects are safety and ensuring that the chosen rear seating position will allow the restraint to be installed correctly.  
  • Accessibility for getting the child in and out and ensuring the driver can adjust their seat to the desired driving position are important. 
  • The size and shape of rear seats, the location and number of anchorage points, interior space and layout of the vehicle will also influence the position of the restraint.
  • Where possible, the centre rear seat should be considered first because of its centralised position. The left outer seat however, often allows easier access and a more stable seat base than the centre position and will usually cause less interference between the restraint and the driver’s seat (particularly with smaller vehicles and rearward facing restraints).
  • If you need to fit more than one restraint, consider how they can best be arranged for effective use.  
  • The right rear position should be avoided if possible due to potential dangers of having to get the child in and out on the traffic side of the vehicle.
  • Child restraints must never be fitted to a rear or side facing seat. They are not designed for this application.
  • Child restraints should not be fitted to a front seat.  Find out more

Anchor points FAQs

Do all vehicles have child restraint anchor points?

Most do, but if your vehicle doesn’t have anchor points fitted as standard you will need to have one installed for each child restraint you wish to fit. In some cases, due to their design, some vehicles will require more than just an anchor point.  In all cases a range of engineered and approved child restraint solutions are available.  An authorised Child Restraint fitter will be able to offer professional advice about the anchorage equipment required for your particular application, and assist with its installation.
Visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads website or phone 13 23 80 for more information.

What do anchor points look like and where do I find them?
There are a variety of different anchor points in use.  Some will have an anchor bolt and fitting already in place while others could be just a threaded hole that must have other hardware fitted.  They could also be a bar that the tether strap clips on to, so it’s important to check the cars owner’s manual for their location and style. 

They could be located in the parcel shelf, in the back of the rear seat, in the boot floor or even in the roof behind the rear seat. In all cases they will be on the approximate centreline of the seating position. 

Do all vehicles have an anchor point for all rear seating positions?
No.  While anchor points have been standard equipment for most vehicles for some time, they are not required in all rear seating positions. Most vehicles will have two anchor points but some may have three. Models with a third row of seats often only have anchors for the second row.  In some cases more anchor points can be added if necessary.

How to fit a child restraint

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