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Why Extended Rear Facing Seats Are The Safer Option

All parents want their children to be as safe as possible, for as long as possible. That especially extends to car travel, where child restraints are vital to ensure children are safely protected in the advent of a road incident.

There can be some confusion over which restraints are right for your child, with forward facing and rear facing options available for children after the age of six months.

Research, outlined below, shows that keeping your child in a rear facing seat is the safer option, with experts saying parents should keep them facing this way as long as possible.

And there are many new restraints on the market that assist in making this possible.

The laws in Australia

Australian law mandates babies up to six months need to be in rear-facing restraints. But this legislation also states that children can be kept in rear-facing car seats until they are four years old. However, it’s important to remember that age is a guide, and the height of the child is a better indicator of when your child is ready to turn forward facing or change into their next seat. Only move your child out of their seat when they have exceeded the upper height markers on their current restraint and can no longer sit comfortably in it – keeping them rear-facing for longer which is so much safer.

Lauren Moloney installs car seats in Western Australia as a community service, and she said most people weren’t aware they could keep their children rear-facing for longer.

“I’m really passionate about best practice, our laws in Australia are quite minimal – we turn babies at six months old in Australia, which is the youngest of almost any developed nation,” she said.

“They’ve changed Australian legislation so you can rear-face a child up to four and harness children till about eight years of age – it’s now about trying to change how people think about it.”

Tip: Laws on car seats can differ slightly in different states and territories. To find out specific laws on child restraints in your area, head to your local roads and traffic authority website.

Why rear facing is safer

While parents are legally able to turn their children’s restraint to forward facing at six months, there are studies that show that it is far safer to keep them rear facing for longer. As Safety Leaders, Britax recommend keeping your children in a rearward facing restraint for as long as possible (rear for a year at least!), depending on when they have exceeded the upper height markers on their current child car seat.

Neuroscience Research Australia and Kidsafe recently released the National Guidelines for the Safe Restraint of Children Travelling in Motor Vehicles report, which outlined why rear facing options are safer for children up to the age of four.

“Rear facing restraints are highly effective in preventing injuries if used correctly because they fully support the child’s head and neck in the event of a crash,” the report says.

“This is important as infants have relatively large heads and weak necks which put them at particularly high risk of serious injuries if the head and neck are not supported.

“Rearward facing restraints support the child’s head and neck in severe frontal crashes better than forward facing restraints.”

Britax options that make rear-facing simple and safe

Britax ensures its restraints feature the latest in technology and safety features to protect your children in the car.

Here are three products that feature new innovations and give you the ability to keep your child rear-facing for longer:

  • Britax Safe-n-Sound Millenia™ (birth – four years (approx.): This restraint is suitable to keep children in a rear-facing position from birth until three years of age (approx.). It includes revolutionary dual layer Side Impact Cushion Technology™ (SICT™) – Head Protection for safety as well as the Flexi Infant Safety Cushion, which includes EVA composite material that provides support and protection for a small baby absorbing energy during a side impact crash. Thermo5® High Performance fabric with Bamboo Charcoal means your child will travel in quality and comfort.
  • Britax Safe-n-Sound Platinum PRO™ (birth – four years (approx.): Is Britax’s most advanced convertible car seat. Featuring the same safety and comfort options as the Millenia™ with extra support and new innovations to assist in safety. This includes the addition of Torso SICT™ which minimises the energy impact on your child’s chest and vital organs, reducing crash forced for greater protection.
  • Britax Safe-n-Sound Graphene™ (birth – four years (approx.): This seat features narrow, compact depth which means it’s perfect for small cars that can require multiple seat configurations. Featuring our award winning Thermo® High Performance fabric with Bamboo Charcoal this seat can be used rear-facing until they are approximately three years old. It also features SICT™ – Torso Protection, making the Graphene our most advanced compact car seat and uniquely designed to offer optimised safety without compromise.
  • Britax Safe-n-Sound Unity™ ISOFIX (birth – 12 months (approx.): This capsule was the FIRST baby capsule suitable for newborn up to 12 months (approx.). It is also the ONLY baby capsule suitable for low birth weight and premature infants without restrictive medical conditions, providing your baby with ultimate security for longer.

To find out more about car seat safety, check out Britax’s ‘Car Seat Basics’ FAQ page.

Original article here.

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Help! My Baby Hates The Car


It’s generally assumed that most babies love travelling in the car. You can understand why — the gentle movement combined with the purr of the engine and a cosy car seat should guarantee a peaceful nap.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for my daughter. From her very first car trip on the way home from the hospital, she absolutely hated it. She screamed from the moment we strapped her in, until we pulled her sweaty and shuddering body out at the end of each trip.

Driving was understandably traumatic for everyone concerned, but for both practical and mental health reasons, I couldn’t stop using the car. For one, we all needed to eat and the shopping wasn’t going to do itself! In addition, it’s vital for a new mum to get out and about for her own peace of mind. It may have been tempting to stay at home, but I knew that I had to find a way for my daughter to tolerate car trips for all our sakes.

I did a bit of research and found out it was actually reasonably common for some young babies to dislike travelling in the car. Fortunately, there are some ways you can make the experience bearable, (and even enjoyable) for mum and bub.

Here are some things you can try:

Install a mirror
For some babies, they feel overwhelmed when they can’t see mum or dad and that was certainly the case for us. An easy solution is to attach a car seat mirror to the back of the head rest. Not only could my baby see us, but I could also check out what she was doing.

Get some shade
My baby was born in summer and she hated the hot sun on her face. Installing some shades on the backseat windows was a great way to block out the sun and reduce glare.

Change from a capsule
Capsules are so convenient, however some babies don’t like how enclosed a capsule can be around their bodies, particularly in summer when it can be warm. If your baby is in a capsule and seems to be overly uncomfortable, you might want to consider changing to a convertible car seat. A child car seat like the Britax Safe-n-Sound Graphene™ could be the perfect solution. It allows toddlers to be rear-facing until up to about two to three years, which is great, as it’s up to five times safer than forward-facing. Plus, its slimline design means its compact enough to fit three seats across the backseat.

Consider the temperature
If you don’t want to swap the capsule but you think your baby is getting too hot, there’s another solution available. I bought a little portable pram fan from a baby store which I clipped onto the edge of the head rest. They’re really lightweight and have a twisty head so you can direct the airflow where you want it. If you have a sweaty little bub, another thing to consider is the fabric the car seat is made of. The latest Britax car seats are made from Thermo5™—a high-performing Bamboo Charcoal fabric, which provides airflow and wicks moisture away.

Add some entertainment
Sometimes all they need is a little distraction. In-built DVD players—or even iPads mounted to the back of car seats—make for a great way to keep little ones distracted. Avoiding toys and other objects that can become airborne is also ideal.

Play some music
On more than one occasion, I resorted to singing ‘Old Macdonald Had a Farm’ at the top of my lungs, to help quieten down my restless little one. After a few months, I realised I could outsource my singing and bought a Play School CD to leave in the car. Every time we needed a little distraction, I would press play and ‘There’s a Bear in There’ would calm her down instantly. These days, there are even Spotify playlists that can substitute for a CD like this.

Plan your journey around naps and feeds
When considering a car journey, it’s vital to think about your baby’s routine and work out the best time to travel. One thing I learnt pretty quickly is travelling when your baby is hungry is probably not the most ideal time. There’s nothing worse than hearing their distress and knowing what it is they want but not being able to give it to them. I realised if my baby was tired enough, she might eventually (and probably reluctantly) nap in the car, so that was the best time to plan my longer journeys.

For us, it was a combination of all of the above suggestions that eventually helped my daughter to tolerate the car. Like a lot of aspects of parenting, it’s all about trial and error.

Experiment with different solutions until you find the one that works for you and your child. Bon voyage!

You can read the original article here.

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Who Even Am I? The Temporary Baby Bubble

The baby bubble — it is Mother Nature’s way. It’s primal. It’s how babies survive.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s common to feel like things that were previously vital to you and your way of living have suddenly faded away into the background, now that your bub has arrived. Often, a shift in priorities occurs and things that were deemed important suddenly don’t seem to be at the top of your to-do list anymore.

And among all these shifting emotions and priorities, your sense of “you” has undergone a significant change — suddenly, you’re a different person. I’ll never forget how completely un-me I felt after my first baby. I was in shock. I felt unrecognisable. My body, my brain, my confidence all seemed horribly unfamiliar.

But, trust me, that’s not a bad thing, and it’s completely natural.

You will get “you” back after your baby arrives

Let’s put something out there, as in really take it in and believe it: a happy mummy equals a happy baby.

I know it’s easy for me to say but looking after yourself is rule number one, and probably one of the most important there is in parenthood. If you’re paying attention to your own needs, you’ll be happier in yourself and you’ll have more patience—which will come in handy when you’re changing your fifth nappy for the morning.

If I feel positive, I’m able to take delight in my baby, just as any parent should. You’ll cherish all those new moments of parenthood that make it worth it when you tend to yourself.

Finding your feet after introducing a new addition to the family doesn’t mean you need to dramatically change your approach to everyday living. It just means giving yourself the time and patience to return back to all other aspects of your existence that you enjoyed pre-pregnancy. However, remember that the baby bubble isn’t a negative space of isolation; it simply means you have been focusing on different priorities while you’ve entered this new stage of your life. And that’s okay, but gradually you will remember all the other things that form who you are as a person. That baby bubble will slowly merge into your life bubble and normal service will resume.

Three key steps to think about

1. Reconnect with your friends

And not just other new mums and parents. I strongly recommend catching up with pre-baby buddies and see how their lives have continued while you’ve been in the bubble. They’re probably going to be excited to hear all about your new addition, but please remember to ask them about their lives too.

This will help you persevere when you’re feeling tired and emotional. After seeing pre-baby friends l find I’m able to reflect more peacefully on the world at large, despite how I’m feeling in those small hours of the morning.

Ultimately, perspective is a wonderful thing that helps you deal with those inevitable trying moments in parenthood.

2. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect miracles

Remind yourself that you’re doing your very best. I know it’s easy to say but you’re doing a great job. You are new at this and like your baby, you are learning new skills every day. Even though I did all the research to work out what the most functional stroller was and what car seat was the safest I continued to doubt myself. No point. No need. With all that worry, thought and agonising I put into my choices, I realised I could relax in the knowledge that I made the best decision for me and bub at that time. So don’t use that valuable energy for worry, just enjoy your little bundle. Don’t keep stressing over choices already made. Don’t think, “I wish I’d bought this” or “I wish I had done that differently.”

And beyond that, don’t put yourself under immense pressure to get back to your pre-baby body. It’s important to let nature run its course and for your physical and mental health to restore itself, before you head into strenuous workouts.

Sure, the dusting needs to be done, washing folded or ironed, dishes cleaned and vacuuming done. That’s fine. One day it willall get done. But for now, it’s okay to let a thing or two slip. It’s also okay to accept help from your wonderful friends who offer. Take it while it’s going, and do NOT feel guilty Trust me, people love to be useful.

Remember that your body has just been under a whole lot of stress, and your mind is getting its own workout, so be kind and patient to yourself from the get-go.

3. Self-care and downtime

Give yourself some “me time”, even if it’s just 15 minutes every other day.  Do at least one thing you enjoyed doing before the newest addition to your family arrived. This should be something that’s solely for you, and you alone. From reading a book, lounging in the bath, meditating, going for a run, sipping on a cappuccino or heading out for a shop—feeling good is the main aim.

Caring for yourself means going back to basics. Sleep at every opportunity, eat regularly and get dressed every day, despite how you’re feeling. These are simple, little things that many of us wouldn’t otherwise spare a thought on, but they’re also vital steps for getting you back onto the road of finding yourself after entering the baby bubble.

Only you will know when the time is to head back out into the wider world, so don’t stress about it. Trust that everything, in this very moment, is exactly how it should be.

You can read the original article here.

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Flight Of Fancy: How Fathers Can Survive Plane Travel With A Baby

When I was a younger man, I was one of the masses that would roll their eyes when I saw a parent lurching through the aisle of my flight with babies and toddlers in tow.

“Great, it always happens to me,” I would mutter, as I stuffed my headphones in and pulled the hood of my jacket over my head. Oh, how things have changed.

Now, I am a father of two children under four — beautiful little boys who love trucks, trains and cause as much chaos as humanly possible at the slightest hint of provocation.

I’d often walk down the aisle of a red-eye flight back home to visit family, baby and toddler in tow. I knew it was going to be a challenge, and to survive a flight with two energetic young gents under four, I needed to employ every trick in the book.

But here are some tips I learned to navigate the skies with my little ones by my side.

The safest seat in the house

Where you are going to park your little ones on the trip will become one of the most important decisions you will make prior to take-off.

First of all, getting free tickets for children under the age of two is fantastic, but are you really prepared to fly the entire time with them sitting on your lap?

One thing that you might not know, is that you can actually pay for a seat for your infant. If they can sit upright, you can tuck them in next to you to prevent the wriggling and writhing on your lap. However, if your child is unable to sit upright — or you are looking for that added safety — you can purchase a seat and put a child restraint on it.

There are several Britax Safe-n-Sound products — like the Millenia™ child seat and the Unity™ ISOFIX compatible baby capsule— that are designed with travel in mind. Your young ones will have all the familiar comfort and smells of a traditional car ride, and they might even fall asleep for the duration of the trip.

Entertaining ideas

Most airlines provide entertainment options, but there is no guarantee that these are going to keep your children occupied. I recommend pre-planning and loading up their backpack with fail-proof options.

There is no hard and fast rule here, as only you know what is going to keep your children happy. But remember, space is confined, so things like Lego might not be a great idea if little parts start to hit the floor.

  • Colouring in and Playdoh are good options, as they can easily rest on the tray table, and you can even put together a little craft project for toddlers to build on the journey.
  • Interactive books (preferably with stickers, not noises) are another crowd-pleaser, especially when they are suited to your little one’s interests. You can even take this a step further by getting books about the plane or your destination to help get them excited about the trip.
  • If you are travelling with a baby, be sure to pack their favourite comfort toy(s), like their teddy or blanket — that little bit of security for them can make all the difference.
  • If all else fails, the trusty iPad is a handy tool to keep in reserve. Before you leave, ensure it is loaded with their favourite shows and apps — it could be the perfect way to halt a tantrum.

Air pressure

Adults can easily adjust to changing air pressure as ears will ‘pop’ when the Eustachian tubes that connect the ears to the nasal passage adapt naturally. Children, though, have more narrow Eustachian tubes and this adjustment may not come as easily, causing pain.

This can be agonising for a parent (and the passengers around them), not just the child. But there are simple techniques you can employ to help get those tubes moving and end the pain.

Sucking on a lolly (sugar-free is best) can promote the opening of these tubes, so maybe give them one to work on for take-off and landing. Alternatively, you can teach toddlers the trick to force open the tubes (close off your nostrils and mouth and try to push air out of your nose).

Another thing to consider is illness. If your little one is battling a cold, a children’s inhaler will be your best friend to help keep those passageways clear, as well as plenty of water in the lead-up and on the flight.

Food for thought

When it comes to packing tucker for the little ones, refer back to the Lego principle—you don’t want anything that has small parts and can tumble to the floor.

Being pragmatic with food is important or there is going to be crumbs scattered all through your seats. Anything loaded with sugar is also a no-no, as the last thing you want is hyperactive little ones in a confined space (trust me, I learned that the hard way).

Simple treats like muesli bars, sliced veggies (carrots, celery etc.) and cheese sticks are reasonably safe options.

Your survival kit

Whether it is a short trip up the coast, or a multi-legged journey that requires changeovers, you are going to need a survival bag packed with all of the essentials.

Little ones can have all manner of ‘whoopsies’, from soiling themselves, throwing up, or sneezing volumes of gooey substances. Your survival kit should include plenty of wipes and spare nappies, changes of clothes, reserve water bottles, formula or milk if required, any medications the child may be on, a spare mini towel and a spare blanket.

Be prepared though, and check the size of your survival bag against your airline’s carry on regulations. The last thing you want is all of your vital tools stowed under the plane, where they will be no help at all.

Travelling with children doesn’t have to be arduous, it just has to be meticulously planned. And if you pack for every contingency, you can almost be guaranteed smooth sailing.

Did you know?

Britax are launching their first ultra-lightweight stroller Holiday™ — the jet-setter’s choice of wheels!  This stroller is perfect for carrying on-board as it fits into overhead lockers.  Hello Holiday™ — just in time for Christmas/summer vacays!

You can read the original article here.

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5 Ways New Dads Can Support Their Partners

Becoming a parent is the most exciting thing that will ever happen to you. But it can be a bit frightening too.

After our first daughter was born, things didn’t quite go according to plan. I was sick with post-birth complications, and our premmie baby had feeding problems. On one particularly hard day, I sat on the floor and cried, with our baby girl crying on the floor next to me.

Thank goodness for my husband. Having his support was a lifesaver in the first few months of parenting.

Dads can be a huge help to their partners. Try these five tips and be a hero to your partner and child…

Encourage her in her role as a mum

Becoming a mum is life-changing. One day, you only have yourself and your partner to worry about, and the next, you are totally responsible for a precious newborn.

Mums want the best for their children, but aren’t always confident with how to achieve that. My husband was always positive, and helped me to relax when I was anxious about doing things exactly right.

Reassuring your partner about what a great job she is doing will go a long way towards helping her gain confidence as a parent.

Help her grab some ‘me-time’

Your partner will also find it easier to be a great mum when she can get some time out for herself.

When a newborn is in the house, it can be hard to get so much as a shower without being interrupted. Being available to look after bub while your partner takes a break will mean the world to her. I really appreciated being able to have a nap, knowing our daughter was safe and well-cared for.

Whether it’s so she can take a nap, get a haircut, or grab a coffee with girlfriends, giving your partner some ‘me-time’, while she knows the baby is safe, will help her in more ways than one!

Help around the house

A new baby in the house also means extra work. Besides feeding, there’s comforting, nappy-changing, and establishing sleep routines. And, all the usual household chores don’t go away.

Every little bit you can do takes some of the pressure off her. Something as simple as putting the washing on or loading the dishwasher frees her up to focus on the bub. If you can cook a meal or vacuum the house, you’ll get extra brownie points in the dad department.

As an added bonus, research shows that couples who split childcare duties have better relationships and sex lives than those who don’t.

Be a hands-on dad

I can almost still hear the giggles as my husband played with our girls—blowing raspberries, tickles and peek-a-boo games. They loved playtime with their dad, and still enjoy hanging out with him now that they’re older.

Did you know that children whose fathers are fully involved in their lives are more successful? A review of studies by the Father Involvement Research Alliance shows that babies with involved dads are more likely to explore their surroundings, be emotionally secure, be confident in unfamiliar situations, and are more sociable.

Toddlers with involved fathers are also better problem-solvers and have higher IQs by the age of three. By being a hands-on dad, you’ll be giving your kids the best chance for a successful life.

Look after safety at home and in the car

Being involved with your kids is great, but keeping your precious bundle safe-n-sound is the most important job of all. Life is a journey, and you want to give your baby the safest start.

Make sure you’ve looked at the following:

  • Around the house, make sure stairs or any other dangerous areas are blocked off with child safety gates;
  • Ensure all potential poisons are safely stowed out of reach;
  • Use child-safe devices for cupboards and;
  • Safeguard your baby from electrical outlets, power cords and power bars with one of a range of plugs or covers that are available.

Probably the most important place to think about baby safety is in the car. Ensuring you have the best child car seat, and that it’s correctly installed, will give your partner peace of mind. It will also keep your little one safe-n-sound.

Did you know that Australia has one of the most stringent standards for child car seats in the world? Britax Safe-n-Sound have a great range of safety seats that are designed, developed and engineered in Australia. They even have a seat that’s specifically designed for premmie babies like ours.

Britax’s outstanding safety record also means you are making the best possible choice for your baby.

You can read the original article here.

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Screening Fatherhood: How Much Screen Time Is Enough?

As a new dad, I can vouch for the fact that time spent with the latest addition to the family is time well spent. But, I found I could get a little distracted sometimes, as we all do now and then.

These days, it’s not uncommon to hear about exposing children to new media and devices. But, the secret is, like a lot of things in life, to keep it all in moderation.

We all know, for instance, that physical activity is vital for a healthy child’s growth and development, and that it doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume too much screen time is likely to be at the cost of play time.

Periods spent in front of the TV or even behind a tablet, means the child is not crawling, walking or running, when they should be.

But, when it’s all kept in check, screen usage for the little ones can be managed to not only curtail the negatives of over-use, but can help promote healthy physical and emotional growth of the child.

So how much is okay?

The short answer is: the jury is still largely out. The growth of technology and digital media has just been so mind-blowingly fast and expansive, that the data doesn’t give us any solid evidence just yet.

However, there are attempts to provide a substantial guideline, but even these can be hard to keep up with as they often change from one day to the next.

So, here are the guidelines I set myself as a dad, to help me form positive parenting habits when it comes to new media:

  1. I tried not to expose my kids when under 18 months of age to media (other than phone based apps like video chat while you’re away, for instance)
  2. I made sure all screen time is spent with a parent or guardian, and the child was not alone with the device
  3. I didn’t use this time to get my child settled, or to calm her down
  4. When my girl was between two and five, screen time was limited no more than one hour a day, and, again, that was with a parent or guardian
  5. I tried to ensure screen time was not in place of important stuff like sleeping or eating
  6. I set aside places in the house and times where/during which screens are off-limits, for instance dinner time, in the toilet or just before heading off to bed
  7. And most importantly, I began to secure all my devices in our family vehicles—did you know when they’re not probably positioned in a mount, there’s the the potential for them to become flying hazards during drives? This was something I remained very aware of.

How I screened my parenting

For me as a dad, the message is really this: depending on your child’s age, some screen time is fine, as long as it’s still spent as dad-time. The bottom line is to not rely on media or get too lazy with it.

One thing I was pretty strict on (my daughter is a little older now) was to put screens away or in a closable space after use.

For instance, portable screens can go in a drawer or a cupboard that isn’t accessible to little hands, and the TV/DVD can be placed in a cabinet with doors. You’ll find all these electronics don’t then become a constant temptation to your whole family in general.

I also found I had to be disciplined about my own screen time. I figured If my little one saw me constantly buried deep in Facebook or work emails, it’s likely she’d try to follow suit and attempt to mimic me when she had the chance. Keeping the boundaries around how used my own gadgets was challenging at times, but worth it.

Screens are here to stay, and so are your kids. Working out how they co-exist all comes down to balance, discipline and a little bit of education. And in the end, it’s all worth it.

You can read the original article here.

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Car Seat Dos and Don’ts

There is no such thing as too much information when it comes to car seat safety. After all, the most precious and important cargo you will ever carry while travelling in the car is your child.

We have put together a list of some do’s and don’ts that will help keep your little one safe and make travelling in the car with a baby a whole lot less stressful!

DO wait to move your child to their next seat – It is important not to graduate your child from a convertible car seat to a booster seat too early as unfortunately, the results can be devastating.

DO think twice about buying second hand – Would you trust a second hand car without knowing the truth about its history? No! At least not before having it thoroughly checked out by a professional. So why would you trust a second hand child car restraint to keep your little one safe and secure while out and about? Britax, the world leaders in child car seat safety, do not recommend buying a child car seat second hand. There is no way of guaranteeing that a used restraint is fully safe and it may not contain all the safety features in accordance to the latest Australian standard.

DO ensure your car seat is installed correctly – Installing your car seat correctly is essential. Before installing your car seat, read the instruction manual carefully. If possible, we highly recommend having your seat installed by an expert such as a professional fitter.

DO position the seat in the rear of the car – The safest place for your child is always in the back seat of the vehicle.

DO rearward face for longer – By law, an infant must be in a rear-facing restraint to at least 6 months of age but the longer they remain rearward facing the better. Frontal collisions are the most common type of accident on the road and rearward facing car seats have been proven to offer the best protection there is in the event of a frontal collision. Britax offer a range of convertible car seats that give you the choice to rear face for longer.

DON’T dress your child in bulky clothing – Crash test results have shown infants and children can slip out of their safety seats due to the bulkiness of winter coats and heavy clothing making the harness appear tighter when it may not be enough. If you are worried your child might be cold, you can lay a blanket over the child instead.

DON’T continue to use your child car seat after a crash – Hopefully this never happens, but in the event you are involved in a car accident you should destroy the restraint immediately, even if there’s no obvious damage. Britax Safe-n-Sound also have a Crash Exchange Program available which is a voluntary program designed to ensure children are safe and car seats that have been involved in a severe crash are taken out of the market.

DON’T move your child to an adult seat belt too early – Children are often moved into an adult seat belt way too early. Britax recommend that you only consider moving your child out of their booster seat after they have grown past the shoulder height markers and more than 145cm in total height.

DON’T use your car seat as a replacement cot – A car seat is designed to protect your child during travel, that is it! Using the car seat as a place to sleep can potentially be very dangerous.

DON’T forget to check your car seat – Britax recommend that you regularly check your child’s car seat, especially before heading off on any long trips. Things to check for include:

  • Wear and tear: ensure there is no fraying;
  • Your child’s seated shoulder height: make sure the car seat’s shoulder straps are in the correct position for their height; and also
  • Ensuring that the straps are not twisted in any way.

Thank you, Kerri Turner (Tinitrader), for sharing your thoughts.

You can read the original article here.

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Setting up a Car Seat Safely

A child car seat can be a difficult thing to install – especially if you are a first time parent! However, fitting your car seat properly is integral in ensuring your precious new bundle of joy is safe-and-sound while travelling in the car.

If you are having some trouble trying to install your new car seat, you’re not alone! In fact, studies conducted by VicRoads have found that around 70% of child car seats are fitted incorrectly. That means roughly three out of four children are at an increased risk of injury every time they get in the car!

But really, is it any wonder? There are so many things to think about when installing a car seat! There are latches to anchor, belts and buckles to secure, angles to consider – it’s no surprise that so many parents get it wrong!

To help make the installation process a little less daunting, we have put together some tips on setting up your child car seat safely without going crazy!

Have your car seat fitted by an expert:

Car safety experts strongly recommend having your child’s car seat fitted professionally by an accredited installer, at least for the first time. Having your car seat fitted professionally offers two key benefits:

  1. You’ll ensure your car seat is installed safely and correctly; and
  2. You can learn from the expert.

If possible, watch the car seat fitting expert carefully while he fits the car seat and ask lots of questions. Reputable car seat retailers will have an accredited installer who can install your car seat when buying it. Some motoring organisations and safety bodies, such as KidSafe and Australian Red Cross will also check or fit seats depending on which state you live in.

Read the instruction manual carefully and keep it handy:

To some this may seem like common sense, but the importance of reading the instruction manual carefully can not be emphasised enough. Almost everything you will need to know for successful installation is in the manual and by not reading it you are setting yourself up for failure. Keep the instructions handy as you will need them again if you move the seat!

Consult your vehicle’s manual:

You will find that the car itself has some rules about where and how the child car seat can be installed. The owner manual will provide you with this information.

Position the car seat in the back seat:

The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. There is a slight safety advantage to installing your car seat in the middle seat as it is the furthest from a side impact however ensure you can achieve a tight installation. If not, the side seats are also safe when used properly.

The easier it is to install properly, the better!

ISOFIX is an easy to use system to secure a car seat in a vehicle and trust us, it makes life a WHOLE lot easier when it comes to installing your car seat. Developed in 1997 by Britax in collaboration with Volkswagen, instead of using a standard seatbelt, the ISOFIX systems locks the base of the car seat to a bracket in the adult seat. The top tether strap anchors the seat from the top. When it comes to baby capsules, you can’t go past the Britax Safe-n-Sound Unity™ ISOFIX from Britax. Britax’s most advanced baby capsule yet, the Unity™ ISOFIX is integrated with CLICK & GO™ Adaptors that make transferring your sleeping baby from car to stroller or out and about an absolute cinch.

Remember: only use 1 installation method, seat belt or ISOFIX, not both. Not all cars in Australia come with ISOFIX anchor points. In newer vehicles, ISOFIX low anchorages should either be visible or their location clearly marked with the ISOFIX symbol. If you are unsure you can check your vehicle’s manual or contact the manufacturer.”

Thank you, Isabella Bennetts-Roberts (Tinitrader), for sharing your thoughts.

You can read the original article here.

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Knowing When Your Child is Ready to Move Into a Booster Seat, and Ready to Move Out of One!

When is it Time to Move Your Child to a Booster Seat?

For parents, the safety of your child in the car is of the utmost importance. However, many of us mistakenly move our child into a booster seat or out of a booster seat sooner than it is safe. Whilst each state has their own requirements, children aged 4 – 7 years old must be secured in either a forward facing seat with an inbuilt harness or a child booster seat. Not all 4 year olds are the same size though of course. So parents should progress to a booster seat based on height rather than age. So before rushing your child into a booster seat because they’ve had a birthday, first check that they fit within the shoulder height marker on the car seat you are using.

We at Mum’s Lounge have learned about the newly launched Kid Guard PRO™ from Britax and like most Mums, we know, trust and love Britax products. As a result, we are happy to share what we have found out that the new Britax Kid Guard PRO™ is the only booster in Australia providing safety all the way up to double figures – 10 years (approx.)!

And in the coming weeks, 12 Mums from Mum’s Lounge audience community will be trialling the Kid Guard PRO™ with their child too, so be sure to check back and see what feedback they have for us.

How to Choose a Booster Seat?

When investing in your child’s booster seat we recommend firstly considering all of the safety features it has to offer including ease of use, the comfort of the seat as well as value for money. An expandable booster that can grow with your child is a great option!

In Australia, it is illegal to purchase or use a car seat that does not comply with the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1754. Always look for the certification mark AS/ANZ:1754 on the car seat you choose for your child.

Choose a brand you trust. Britax is the number 1 brand in car seat safety technology leading the world with innovative car seats, strollers and travel systems. The latest safety innovation from Britax called the SecureGuard™ is easy to use Britax patented exclusive feature that ensures the vehicle seat belt is properly positioned on your child’s hips, minimising the risk of abdominal injury during a crash and preventing them from sliding under the seat belt. Whereas booster seats ordinarily offer 3 points of contact, the SecureGuard™ provides a 4th point that sits between the child’s legs securing the seat belt in the correct position, whilst also allowing your child adequate wriggle room whilst on the move.

In the event of a collision, a lap belt that is improperly positioned across a child’s abdomen can cause serious injuries, including injuries to internal organs that can’t always be diagnosed immediately and can be life-threatening. The SecureGuard™ anti-submarining device ensures that the seat belt is secured across the strong bones of the pelvis rather than the abdomen.

The SecureGuard™ anti-submarining device is also available on Britax’s most popular booster seats including the Hi-Liner™, Maxi Lite™, Tourer™ and the newly launched Kid Guard PRO™.

In addition to the innovative life-saving SecureGuard™ anti-submarining device, the Kid Guard PRO™ also features expandable side wings to deliver lateral support ensuring your child’s body is sitting upright, providing a safer seat belt and is equipped with Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT™) to maximise your child’s head protection in the event of a side impact collision. The expandable seat design allows parents to adjust the height of the seat as their child grows – a feature that offers increased safety and value for money.

The compact slim-line base also makes the Kid Guard PRO™ an excellent option for parents with multiple child seats in their car, and it can be easily transferred into a friend or family members care as and when needed. The built in sash guide ensures ease of use regardless of who is fitting it.

The Kid Guard PRO™ also includes their deluxe Thermo5™ fabric made with Bamboo Charcoal which means your child will travel in quality and comfort. (And we may even get a little peace!)

Suitable for children between the age of 4 – 10 year old (approx.), the Kid Guard PRO™ is an expandable booster seat with 9 height adjustments for the RRP of $399! 

When Can I Move My Child to an Adult Seat Belt?

According to Britax, children are often moved into adult seat belts too soon. Britax as industry leaders, believe in ‘Harnessed Safety for Longer.’ Adult seatbelts are designed for a minimum height of 145cm, but height isn’t the only indicator.

Before graduating your child to an adult seat belt please consider the following factors outlined on the Britax Australia website.

Please assess the following factors by testing how your child sits in an adult seat:

  • If your child’s legs are shorter than the depth of the seat and do no hang comfortably over the seat edge, your child is likely to move forward or slump in their seat which will change the position of the lap belt and increase the risk of serious injury.
  • If the seat belt crosses your child’s face or neck rather than their chest, your child is likely to place the seat belt behind their back to remove this discomfort greatly increasing the risk of injury.
  • If the lap belt rides up over your child’s abdomen when sitting correctly, your child is at increased risk of serious injury (The lap belt should always be positioned over the hips and thighs).
  • If your child wriggles or slumps in their seat, the lateral support provided by a booster seat reduces the risk head, neck and abdominal injury.

With the new Kid Guard PRO™ booster suitable for children up to 10 years of age (approx.), it is recommended that parents keep their child in a booster seat for maximum safety.

For more safety information or additional information on the baby seats, boosters and travel systems available visit Britax.com.au







You can read the original article here.


Review: Kid Guard PRO ™ Booster Seat from Britax (suitable 4-10 years)

Over the past few months, we’ve focused a lot on child car safety, particularly for those 4 years and above. The reason for this is simple – many parents are moving their child into or out of a booster seat before it is safe to do so.

The Britax Kid Guard PRO™ is the only booster seat of its kind in Australia providing safety for children from approximately 4 years of age, up to 10, so you can keep them buckled for longer.

The Kid Guard PRO™ features expandable lower side wings extendable seat base and nine points adjustable headrest so it grows with your child delivery comfort and safety on the move as well as exceptional value for money.

The Kid Guard PRO™ also offers 4 points of safety with their patented anti-submarining technology. This ensures that the adult lap belt is always in an ideal position from shoulder to pelvic bones and prevent a child from slipping underneath the lap-belt or suffering from a further injury caused by an incorrectly fitted belt.

In addition to all of these fantastic safety features, this booster also includes the deluxe Thermo 5™ fabric made with Bamboo Charcoal meaning your child will travel in quality and comfort.

Get your FREE Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe in the Car eBook

Click here to download your free copy of Tips for Keeping Your Kids safe in the Car.

You can read the original article here.


Road Rules For Little Passengers

As ‘Safety Leaders’ we want to make the ever-so confusing topic of car seat safety as simple and as straight forward as possible so that you are free to enjoy family life the way you want.

Here’s a handy guide to Australian Road Rules for Child Car Seats and our recommendations for above and beyond safety.


To provide maximum protection for children travelling in vehicles, it is important to choose the right child car seat. Here’s what you need to know…


Refer to your State specific Road Laws Guide as there may be minor variations.

Up to 6 months

Must be secured in an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rearward-facing child car seat.


‘Rear for a Year’ (at least)
0 – 12 months approx.


From 6 months up to 4 years

Must be secured in an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rearward-facing child car seat or a forward-facing child car seat with an inbuilt harness.


Rearward-facing for longer
0 – 4 yrs approx.


From 4 years up to 8 years

Must be secured in an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, forward-facing child car seat with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat which is properly positioned and fastened.


Harnessed for longer
6 months – 8 yrs approx. 


7 years and older

From 7 years of age children can travel in a car secured in either a booster seat or the car’s adult seat belt.


Safety beyond 7yrs / 135cm
4 yrs – 10 yrs approx.



Shoulder height markers make it easy for parents to determine if a child car seat is suitable for their child and when the child needs to move to the next child car seat.

Height Markers, located on the inner side of the seat, prompt parents and carers to ensure their child’s seats, and associated harnesses, are moved or adjusted at the right stages of the child’s development to maintain optimised safety.

Lower Shoulder Height Marker

Is my child too small for this child car seat?

Upper Shoulder Height Marker

Is my child too big for this child car seat?

Height Markers that tells you when to change

On some child car seats shoulder height markers will determine when the child needs to change position or change to the next mode.