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Moving to Brisbane in a week- baby car seat advice needed!

(42 Posts)
CocoKev Sun 14-Aug-11 07:07:00

Hi all- DH, DS (9 months) and I are moving to Brisbane on Saturday- eek! I'm very excited about it all and thought we had everything just about sorted until I realised that we may not be able to use DS's current car seat once we're over there. The plan had been to bring his seat with us and then get a new one over there to fit whichever car we end up going with. I had assumed that isofix was standard over there but from what I've read I don't think it's legal even though many cars are isofix-ready.

If we were staying here I would have bought one of the rearfacing seats for use up to around age 4- but again, from what I've read I don't think they're legal over there. I'm tempted to upgrade now and bring a larger rearfacing one with us, use it and run the risk of being fined once we're there if caught- but am not sure how this would be treated by the police. I'm willing to risk being stopped because I believe it's so much safer for DS to travel rear facing for as long as possible- DH is less sure. Has anyone else had similar issues on moving over? Sorry this is so long- thanks for your help!

ComradeJing Mon 15-Aug-11 02:23:58

Coco isofix isn't legal in Australia though car groups are trying to make it so. Not all cars are isofix ready but our Toyota land cruiser 200 is so you'd need to check. Toyota had no idea what I was asking when I asked if they did - we had to check physically.

What about an Australian birth - 4 years old seat and keep it rear facing for as long as possible? Don't forget car seats are now a legal requirement until 7 now in all states.

Fwiw we use and will continue to use an isofix for our DD in Aus as we feel it's safer. The Aussie ones are a bugger to fit safely. Ive no idea what the penalty is for using the wrong seat.

wahine12 Mon 15-Aug-11 03:51:26

The only seats that are legal in Australia are those with the Australian Standard mark: www.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/publichealth/environment/diy/images/as.gif

They can be a bit fiddly to fit but there are services to help fit them safely from the Ambulance service.

Penalty for not using them correctly is $300 and 3 demerit points.

Here is a good summary page from the Queensland government: www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Child-restraints.aspx

CocoKev Mon 15-Aug-11 17:38:28

Thanks for your replies. I think we're going to take a rear-facing one with us and be prepared to face the demerits/ fines if we're caught. Gulp. Have never purposefully broken a law before!

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 17:42:40

Are none of the extended RF seats available in Australia then? Do you have any idea what kinds of brands they have there? I know for example in the US their laws are very different to ours and so they have "combination" (ie RF and FF) seats as standard in stores like Target (similar kind of stock range to our Argos? Possibly?) which RF for much much longer than the standard seats in the UK.

I'll have a google and see what I can report back smile

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 17:50:41

I think they are pretty hot in Australia about following the laws though, unfortunately. Someone I know had an emergency and had to take her baby in a taxi without one, the first two flat refused, the third agreed nervously, as long as she put the baby on the floor confused so that it couldn't be seen by any passing police!

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 17:55:36

Anyway, I've found this:

www.huggies.com.au/forum/topic/2643046-Rear-Facing-Car-Seats-for-older-kids/

www.pomsinoz.com/forum/news-gossip-chat/107294-rear-facing-car-seats.html

It looks like some of the convertible seats are suitable until 13kg, most until 12kg though. If your child is small that might be when they are over 2. There is a big jump from 12 to 13kg though, as their weight gain tends to slow a lot once they turn 1, so with that crucial extra kilo you could gain an extra 6-12 months. Then if you still want him rearfacing you'd probably have to look at importing a seat, if the laws haven't changed by then.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 18:00:40

I found this too. Read the comments smile www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/stories/2011/3183076.htm

CocoKev Mon 15-Aug-11 20:50:56

Thanks Bertie- very interesting links. DS is a pretty big 9 months so I don't think we'd get much mileage out of the RF seats available in Australia. I think we'll b ring our own with us and hang the consequences!

MagicFingerGoesPop Mon 15-Aug-11 20:58:43

Actually, I believe the laws in Australia are more stringent than here. Her, for example, you are allowed in the front seat at 4 (and height etc). In Australia you are not even allowed in the front until 12. Also, here if there is two fitted seats in the back, you are allowed to go without a third. not so in Australia.

When I came here I was shocked at how 'lax' the laws were in comparison.

Why are you so set on taking your own? Why not follow the laws? It is for your own childs safety.

MagicFingerGoesPop Mon 15-Aug-11 21:00:02

Ignore me! I apologise blush I now realise that RF is the issue.

Apologies again.

<slaps self for skim reading>

ComradeJing Tue 16-Aug-11 03:38:55

http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Child-restraints/Child-restraint-laws.aspx

Actually a child of any age can travel by taxi without a baby seat unless one is supplied. IME I've never had a driver refuse me.

Also children over 7 can sit in the front if the back seats are taken by children under 7.

Yes the laws are more stringent than ours but the seats are easy to not fit correctly. They do have fitting centers but there's only one in all of WA for example.

I'd rather have an isofix and simply do as you're going to do OP!

Thumbwitch Tue 16-Aug-11 03:53:59

It is a pita, tbh - the perfectly good rear-facing seat that we brought over from the UK is redundant here because of the laws. You need an extra point of fixing on the seats here, and they can't be retro-fitted either.

You might be prepared to take demerits and a fine if you're caught in a normal police check, but if you have an accident and you are caught, you might get charged with more serious offences for not having the correct fittings - are you sure you want to take that risk? I wouldn't, and haven't.

gregssausageroll Thu 18-Aug-11 20:49:48

I am going to get my narky knickers on here but please don't take your UK child seat. It is not legal. If you have an accident your car insurance will become invalid. Could you forgive yourself? And don't think they don't check because they do.

It isn't just about the fine and the demerits.

It never fails to amaze me the number of people who move to Australia and the $$$$$ it costs but refuse to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a legal car seat.

xmyboys Thu 18-Aug-11 23:31:36

Have to agree with Greg, wouldn't risk it. Stores like Target, K-mart, BigW will see the legal seats. You can always sell on later if cost is an issue.

Thumbwitch Fri 19-Aug-11 01:05:37

Mothercare is here in Australia too now - I don't know about Brisbane but it's over here and probably does mailorder if you need to go somewhere you recognise.

CocoKev Fri 19-Aug-11 15:53:51

Gregssausageroll- it's not that I don't want to spend the money on a seat in Australia. I want to get a rearfacing one that my son can stay in until approx age 4- and as far as I can tell, these just aren't available over there.

gregssausageroll Fri 19-Aug-11 17:20:14

Because they are not legal! It isn't about what you want it is about what is legal and adapting to the laws of the new country you are moving to.

I may be sound a bit too passionate about it but knowing a family whose insurance was invalidated for using a UK car seat when they were in an accident in WA and the fall out of that was horrendous.

When you get to Australia you will here about nothing but road accidents and fatalities. Every day these happen because of bonkers driving standards. Spot checks by the Police are very common, particularly on double demerit weekends.

I just personally wouldn't risk it but that is me. If you want to break the law carry on.

CocoKev Fri 19-Aug-11 17:54:13

Gregssausageroll-I think it's all about risk management. We have to weigh up whether we run the risk invalidating insurance and deal with potential consequences of that. The alternative might be that DS sustains otherwise-avoidable injuries in a crash. Obviously I don't know the details of what happened with the family you know, and I wouldn't want to make light of that.
I'm generally very law abiding and find the thought of doing this a bit scary- if I didn't really think it was worth doing, I'd never even contemplate it.

chloeb2002 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:02:03

I asked the question why to the qld transport.. the answer was simple. ISO fix is less safe than the Aussie tether system. ISO fix anchors your child to the seat. In the event of a side collision your child will bear the brunt as the seat will not move till the anchor points are moved.. that's the middle of the seat. Too late for the child. As a mother of 3 I can safely say that none of them would want to sit rear facing once they want to look around. Seats here have a recline and I agree with Greg... I just hope its not me or someone I know that's involved in an accident with someone who will have no insurance... Great seats here.. I even took mine to the UK.. where they are considered a higher than UK standard so with the fittings try can be used legally....

BertieBotts Mon 22-Aug-11 19:07:10

When you say no insurance, does that mean health insurance, rather than car insurance? Rather a different prospect in that instance. No use preventing serious injury if you then can't afford to get the less-serious injury treated! Otherwise I can see exactly what CocoKev is saying. (I have no idea how health insurance and health care works though, admittedly)

Bubbaluv Tue 23-Aug-11 00:41:38

I use my isofix car seats here and a number of my Aussie friends order Isofix seats and have them shipped here simply beacuse they are safer (according to everyone but the Australian transport authorities) and soooo much easier to fit. Never heard of anyone being stopped and fined, but as far as I'm concerned it's a price I'm willing to pay. In any case, the likelyhood of having any trouble before you buy a new car and get a new carseat to fit it is v low.

Bubbaluv Tue 23-Aug-11 00:58:03

I just called the NRMA and confirmed that using an Isofix car seat would NOT invalidate my car insurance.

MrsDistinctlyMintyMonetarism Tue 23-Aug-11 02:03:39

It's such a minefield.

According to Aussie rules my two dc are big enough simply to use the adult seatbelts.

I don't want them in bloody seatbelts, I want them in a car seat with some added side protection.

This is apparently unlawful. <bangs head against nearby wall>

ifink Tue 23-Aug-11 04:41:54

hi Coco (I've name changed from zzlondongirlzz....am so far from London felt I needed a change!). I agree it really is a minefield. I can only add that I've obviously recently purchased Australian car seats for my two and I'm very impressed by their quality and robustness (not that I've been in an accident thankfully) but they are massive and the side protection cushions are huge. Safe to say that there is no way my mum will be able to fit in the middle seat when she visits! If you you were to decide to buy here then I'd be happy to PM the details. The extra anchorage system here is definitely better than the UK standard forward/rear facing seat using seat belts and it really wasn't difficult for my DH to fit the seats. The prob is if you buy an older car without existing anchorage points then you have to pay for retrospective fitting etc - just something to watch when buying a car and you did decide to use ozzie seats.

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