New safety ratings for child car seats

New NSW ratings standards have been introduced to test child car seat safety.
New NSW ratings standards have been introduced to test child car seat safety.

The body responsible for testing the safety of child car seat brands has released its latest ratings, with none clearing four stars out of five.

The four sets of results are the first under a new rating method introduced in 2021.

Independent crash testers now perform a side-impact test factoring in an intruding door and use more advanced crash test dummies and a new test rig featuring current popular cars.

The seats are scored for protection and ease of use.

While the four new seats all complied with the Australian Safety Standard, the highest was ranked 3.9 stars for protection.

Only one scored over 3.5 stars in the ease of use category.

NSW Roads Minister Paul Toole said installation was a key part of child car seat protection.

"If a seat is not used correctly, the risk of serious injuries in a crash is seven times higher than if the seat was correctly fitted," he said.

The Safe-N-Sound Compaq and Nuna Rava both scored highest at 3.9 out of five stars for protection.

Mother's Choice Tribe AP, which is for children aged between four and seven, scored 3.8 stars.

The Infa Secure Emerge Go, a forward facing seat for babies and child, received the lowest protection rating at 3.2 stars.

Mr Toole encouraged parents to do research before buying car seats.

"Children are our most vulnerable road users and when it comes to road safety they are completely reliant on their parents and carers to keep them safe," he said in a statement.

Ratings under the 2021 methodology can't be compared to previous ratings, as they use different test protocols.

The ratings are published by Child Car Seats, a partnership between state governments and other organisations.

Australian Associated Press