Your Go Buggi guidelines for child restraints.
Looking for the right car seat for your child? There are options galore – which can be a little confusing – so we have made you a simple guide to help you make a decision. Remember, every capsule, car seat or buggy that we hire out will be fitted to match your request.
How will I know if the car seat will fit the car?
Unfortunately you won’t. There are many factors that will affect a child restraint fitting into a vehicle.
• The size of the car seat may just be too big for the vehicle.
• Check the length of seat belt.
• The position of seat belt buckle on a long stem.
• All cars have different contours. Try keep away from bucket type seats.
• The height of passenger and space allowed behind their seat [for rear facing].
Where is the best position to place my car seat?
Legally the child must be in the back seat. Most collisions that occur are frontal impacts, so the middle of the back seat is considered best. The next safest position is behind the passenger seat. Thirdly, behind the drivers seat. Note that the driver’s side is technically hit most often, so please try and avoid placing your child here if you can!
Should I be aware of airbags?
Never place a rear facing car seat in the front with an active air bag. Most frontal passenger airbags can be deactivated. For side air bags in the back seat always ensure you are using a car seat with side impact protection as this protects the child from the air bag. If only one child travelling middle back can be the best option.
How do I know if my child’s seat should be rear or forward facing?
Children facing the rear are five times safer than forward facing. This is because if the vehicle stops quickly the rear facing child’s head and neck move in one direction and is supported by the shell of the restraint. On average between 1-2 years a child’s head is 25% of their body weight, whereas an adults is only 6.5% – a child’s ability to hold up their own head is no indication of being ready to forward face. Whilst it is not law to rear face beyond around 6 months of age it is certainly best practice to continue doing so and is up to parents to educate themselves on which is best for their child. Go Buggi recommends to rear face until at least the age of two years.
What is the law on using child restraints?
New Zealand law states that every child under the age of 7 must be properly restrained by an approved child restraint appropriate for that passenger. Also, note that if a restraint is available to use in a vehicle then children aged 7 are also required to be in that restraint by law.
To be approved, the restraint must be one of the four standards accepted in New Zealand. These are;
• Joint Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZ 1754)
• European Standard
• Yellow NZ Standard – comply with American restraint
• Japanese inbuilt boosters only found in vehicles. The restraint must also be within its lifespan, an expired restraint will not be accepted and ALL car seats have an expiry date.
Failure to comply with the law can result in a $150 fine per offence. This is issued to the driver of the vehicle as it is their responsibility to ensure all restraints are being correctly used. Some areas will offer compliance if you are not using your car seat correctly (ie not using a tether strap when required to and no bolt available in the vehicle).
When do Go Buggi car seats expire?
At Go Buggi we only use Britax Car Seats and all our car seats are replaced well before their expiry date. We insure a 5-point safety check each time the seat is returned and if it does not meet the safety requirements, we will replace it.
My car seat feels too loose when fitted in my car – how do I fix this?
You need to do a lot of climbing and finding to get the seats in right. If the restraint feels too loose when fitted it is due to the seat belt or latch webbing not being pulled tightly enough. You should be able to kneel into the restraint and pull the webbing/belt as tight as you can, apply a locking clip or use the inbuilt one if applicable and this should secure more firmly. Sometimes your vehicle seat shape can prevent a tight fit.
What is the difference between a harnessed seat and a booster seat?
Booster seats differ from a harnessed car seat in that a booster seat, by definition, simply “boosts” the child up so that the vehicle seat belt is positioned correctly across the child’s hips and shoulder/middle of the chest. Booster seats rely on the vehicle seat belts to hold both the child and the booster seat in position. Harnessed seats have an internal harness system that is used to restrain the child.