When we approached Services NSW we were informed that the qualification for infant restraint fitting was no longer a thing. We informed our social media avenues of this and the kick back from most mechanics with the previously recognised licence was this was BS. Two things came to light from this. A) the largest part of our social media audience is our competitors and we have been spending time and money promoting to those who are watching us in order to copy us and B) no one seems to really know what the rules and licences are surrounding this including the regulating bodies. No grand surprises there.
So regardless of weather or not there is a licence we do need to address the larger issue here. There is no legal requirement for you to get your infant seats fitted by someone who knows what they are doing. This is possibly the stupidest thing in all motoring on New South Wales roads. Under current law, the primary safety device for a child is allowed to be installed by a one eyed aardvark suffering from Parkinson’s. You can mount the thing with roofing screws, bread ties and a toilet brush, in an accident you child would be safer in a suspicious unmarked white van. His best intentions means Mr Aardvarks children are now sailing through the windscreen, strapped into a child seat that has now become an Eject O Seat.
From this point on you can petition for changes, create a picket parade and get yet another one of these stupid facebook signature petition campaigns to see change. Then some politician can be paid a quarter of a million dollars a year just to ignore it. Or you could just worry about yourself and your young ones and make sure you know what your doing when fitting a seat for your infant.
Hear is what you need to know.
First. Spend decent money. Its not always accurate but in most cases the more you spend the better and safer the product. This is your children we are talking about, spend up and get the best product you can afford. The cheaper seats on the market have lower safety standards. The key factor is harness mechanism, Cheaper seats have a inferior clip that under extreme pressure (such as rear ending someone) the harness can release and send child into windscreen.
Modern Motor Vehicles have whats called ISOFIX points. Make sure you get a seat that has ISOFIX clips and make sure they are clipped in.
The seatbelt bracket. You can fit seats without this. Don’t do it. You need this little metal thing to allow the seatbelt fitted to the vehicle to hold the seat in securely. The bracket we are referring to is the one featured at the top of this article.
The anchor point. Possibly the most important part and the most frequently incorrectly installed item. This must be a grade 5 or higher bolt which is screwed into the vehicles anchor point. Do not anchor the seat on luggage straps, Tex Screws or simply leave them off. Your anchor point must look like one of the two images shown below. If to doesn’t, its not an anchor point, don’t use it.
Make sure all straps are tight. The vehicles seatbelt, both ISOFIX straps and the strap to the anchor point all need to be adjusted after the seat is completely installed. Every time the seat is removed and refitted to a vehicle it needs to be readjusted. This is where most safety issues arise. Taking the seat in and out of the car and owners becoming lazy. Every single time, adjust all straps
Age and size of children. Every seat is different and all advise different things with the size and age of the occupants. As a general rule we have been advised by the manufacturers of our seats that the infants need to be rearward facing until three years old. A task thats very hard with a two year old but thats the advice.
If in doubt. You could try and find a certified baby seat installer. If such a thing still exists however any mechanic will know how to fit these. They deal with them all the time and its not rocket science.
If you would like more help with this please fell free to contact us here