Important details for Australian ISOFIX child restraints from Britax

Britax ISOFIX Important details for Australian ISOFIX child restraints from Britax

Babyologists, you wanted to know more and now we can tell you, with the help of the Britax team, just what’s in store for Australian ISOFIX child restraints.

It’s safe to say that Britax know their stuff. After all, it was Britax Europe that were the first to launch an ISOFIX child restraint to the European market and they’re being ultra helpful filling us in on the details for what lies ahead in regard to ISOFIX restraints being introduced to the Australian market.

The current draft standard specifies that Australian ISOFIX child restraints will need to be able to be used with a seatbelt fit in addition to ISOFIX points. Unlike European child restraints, the foot prop will not be used in the Australian market, but the top tether strap will continue to be required on all seats, as is currently the case with child car seats. Manufacturers themselves will have the option of supplying rigid (ISOFIX) lower connectors to attach to the vehicle, as is used in Europe, or alternatively, a flexible (LATCH) connection similar to restraints used in the United States.

It’s important to note that while Australia is moving towards allowing the use of ISOFIX child restraints, that does not mean that European or American ISOFIX child restraints will automatically meet the Australian Standard (which has a higher level of testing and design requirements). All child restraints that meet the Australian Standard have the five tick standards marking, confirming compliance.

ISOFIX Britax Australia’s Technical Director Mike Lumley is quoted in Britax’s media release saying “Our current Australian and New Zealand child restraint systems provide high levels of safety equal or better to that of products globally. The main expected benefit from ISOFIX compatible child restraints is an improvement in fitment to the vehicle. Parents are likely to find these new style child restraints easier to fit to vehicles, reducing the potential risk of incorrect instalment“. So such a comment lends itself to the discussion that it’s not that Australian child restraints are less safe than ISOFIX, it’s the fit itself that’s often incorrect and hence why it’s recommended to have your child restraint fitted by a professional.

Finally, Australian drivers who choose to drive with an American LATCH or European ISOFIX child restraint are not obeying the Australian road rules and risk receiving a traffic infringement.

18 Comments

  1. Do you know when they are going to be available here?

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  2. I have a VW Golf with the ISOFIX attachments only so it was going to be rather difficult for me if they weren’t going to approve this system.
    I hope you can give us more brands / info to come in the near future :)
    Thanks Babyology.

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  3. Most new cars have the isofix attachments, but they still work with the standard carseats. The interesting part is there is no national standard for car seat laws, as is the case in WA. The law relates to when the year the carseat was purchased. Seems a little odd to me?

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  4. I would much rather the isofix system for both of my precious children our system is antiquated and although we talk about Australian Standards it feels like it is just an excuse for all the the continuing red tape and delays………..

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  5. While incorrect fitting does add to the risk, the greatest safety issue in Australia is sitting children forward facing. I honestly cannot fathom how the executives of Australian car seat companies can sleep at night, when all the evidence shows that children are MUCH safer when rear-facing until age 3. It makes my blood boil when they talk about safety, while not providing a single product that allows an older child of normal size to rear face.

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  6. Ok. Miracles have happened and isofix has been approved 1 month after me buying a new car with the feature and 2 months before babies due date…..so when will isofix seats be available here?

    Do I need to buy online to get one in time for baby? And if so, what (britax) model s recommended? I’ve tried to research but I think one needs a degree and a decade to work it out without help :-)

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  7. Hi Claire,
    Unfortunately the car seats will take some time as manufacturers now have to make one according to the new Australian Standard. Britax has said they expect to release theirs in December this year.
    So you will need something in the meantime. You could use a baby capsule? They are available for hire in some areas.
    Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy and the birth!

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  8. We have a Infa Secure Kompressor 0 to 4 and that goes up to 30 months rear facing. We purchased this when we had our son was born in December 2012. Longer rear facing longer have been around for at least 6 months. Hope that helps, cheers

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  9. So for us who don’t have isofix anchor points already in the car, where can I get them installed??

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  10. Where and when can we purchase these seats in Australia.
    Are we simply waiting for old car seat stocks to run out before the ISOFIX stock is released in Australia.

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  11. Hi, if there is none available here, get one of Maxi Cosi range from EU. When it comes to safety rating, there are not many brands that could match that. I have not used any other brand so far, but check for yourself on their web. I have been using them in Australia in Isofix equipped cars even at time when it was not completelly legal as its much safer than the legal system…. unfortunately. I have not heard about any other country out there that would prefer “own” system and made Isofix ilegal. I have always preffered safety for my kids. So I always went for Isofix. Did not have any other option…

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  12. Hi – disregard that last line in the article about disobeying the road rules and getting an infringement. It’s inconsequential when you consider the other potential issue.
    If your new-born child suffers injuries from an accident requiring surgery or long term rehabilitation, do you think your insurance company will pay for it if you have used non-approved seating/ harnessing etc?
    It’s just not worth finding an easy solution on a baby seat – ever.
    Find one on the pram, the bottles, the toys etc etc – but never on the baby seat.

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  13. Britax brand has been around in Aust. for over 40 years. I know a now retired Police Sergeant who all those years ago had the misfortune to attend a fatal accident in country SA. The car was a write off. The only survivor was a young baby in a Britax Baby Car Seat. The baby was alive and actually fast asleep when the Police arrived. As the Police could smell petrol they very carefully removed the baby, carseat and all, and moved away from the car. They radioed in for an “Ambulance Stat”. The baby woke up before the Ambulance arrived. They rushed the baby to the hospital and did extensive X-rays and other tests. The baby had no injuries at all, not even scratches. The baby was discharged from hospital into the care of the grandparents. The now retired Police Officer had never witnessed that situation before so he followed up on the condition of the baby.
    He had the unpleasant job of having to advise the next-of-kin of the baby’s parents.
    Hoe vowed that when he and his wife had their first baby that Britax was the brand they should choose -which they did.
    Needless to say the word got around very quickly that Britax was an excellent quality Baby Carseat.
    To the best of my knowledge Safe-N-Sound is a subsidiary of Britax. When my niece was born we bought a Safe-N-Sound Baby Carseat. The name Britax was also on the box. The grandparents got one too as it was easier and safer that transferring it from car to car.
    Never use second hand in-car baby equipment unless you know its origins and know it has not been in even a minor accident. If the harness shows signs of wear of any type you can get them replaced.

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  14. Hi can we have an update on how will the ISOFIX seats will be available for sale? there is a post from Rachel above stating that most probably would be out by dec 2013 but I have not seen them anywhere?

    I am due in November So I would much rather buy the isofix instead of anything else.

    Thank you

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  15. Hi Spanauss, I’ll see what I can find out and get back to you! ~LK

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  16. Spanauss, the official word is that the ACCC still are still yet mandate the Standard, until they’ve done so Britax aren’t able to release an Isofix compatible seat. We will be sure to let you know when it’s given the green light! ~LK

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  17. Hi Lexi,

    My wife is due in December and I would prefer ISOFIX too. any idea when can I use it here in Australia?

    Thank you

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  18. Actually, just read another article. Quoted:

    “The ISOFIX child restraint system has finally been officially approved for use in Australia.

    Standards Australia confirmed the revision to the joint Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754:2013, allowing the use of child restraints featuring ISOFIX-compatible lower attachment connectors.”

    Does this means that parents can start using them legally here in Australia?
    I would definitely purchase them online if this is the case.

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