Strollers and Prams News
Britax comment on draft of new Child Restraints Standard
On the 13th of August, a draft of the new Child Restraint Standard was released by Standards Australia. This revision of the current standard has been long anticipated by proponents of the Isofix system, an alternative lower attachment system for car restraints which has long been available overseas and is considered easier to install and thus likely to reduce the high incidence of incorrect installation currently seen in Australia.
The new draft does in fact include the provision for isofix compatible car restraints to be sold in Australia, however this does not mean that seats sold overseas will automatically become legal to use in Australia. Whilst the current draft allows options for both rigid (ISOFIX) and flexible (LATCH) lower anchor points, Australian car seats will continue to require an upper tether strap, and will also require the option to use the car's seatbelt as the lower attachment as is currently the case.
Other changes in the draft which advocates of improved car restraints in Australia are sure to celebrate, include the addition of an extended rear facing category, a new category for harnessed forward facing restraints for children up to 8 - 10 years of age, and the testing and defining of child restraints suitable for babies who are premature or of low birth weight.
Britax, who design and manufacturer car seats for the Australian market under the brands of Safe-n-Sound and Steelcraft, have welcomed the first draft of the new Standard and plan to release restraints compatible with the new standard once the Standard has been approved for publication, which is expected to be early in 2013.
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