Toddler Car Seats

Toddlers can use either a convertible car seat, or a combined booster seat. A convertible seat is one that can be used both rear and forward facing with an integral harness, and a combined booster is one that is used forward facing only using the integral harness and then turns into a booster seat for children 4 years and above. If your child can still fit in their harnessed car seat, it is recommended that you keep using it.

Extended rear facing

It is recommended to keep your child rear facing until 24 months of age. Testing shows that children are in fact safer in an accident when they are rear facing. 

There is nothing wrong with your child's feet touching the back seat, their legs are not likely to break during an accident because of contact with the back seat. They are less likely to get a broken neck in the event of a rear facing accident, so if their legs do break, it is much less work to repair a broken leg or two than it is to fix a broken neck.

Car seats have two weight limits attached, the minimum is the entry level weight and the maximum is the top level weight. For example a booster seat can be used from 14kgs, and your toddler car seat can be used until 18kgs. We recommend that you use the toddler seat to the top level/maximum weight before you progress to a booster, or any other car seat when your child is approaching the entry level limit.

rear facing toddler

Forward facing

Once your child has exhausted the weight limit for rear facing you can turn them around. A child should remain in the convertible or forward facing harnessed car seat until they reach the maximum weight of the car seat. If your child outgrows their car seat before 18kgs, consider another brand (such as the Radian XTSL), or using a booster seat with child harness. Do not move your child into a booster until around 4 years of age.

ff child

Out grown car seat

There are a few ways that your child may outgrow their car seat, the list below explains these:

  • Child exceeds maximum specified weight limit for that particular seat
  • The harness no longer fits snuggly over the child's body
  • The child's eyes/ears exceed the top sides of the car seat

Always check your seat and/or instruction booklet for the maximum weight limit for the harness, if your toddler exceeds this weight you will need to move your child into a booster seat (with child harness is recommended).

outgrown toddler seat

This image shows a young child who is too big for the car seat, while she may not be 18kgs, she has outgrown the seat by height. When the child's eyes/ears are level with the top sides of the seat, the child is too big for the seat. If your child's shoulders come above the top harness slots, they are also too big for the seat. The straps should not come more than 2.5cm (1 inch) below their shoulders, doing so could cause spinal compression during an accident.

Forward facing children should always wear the belt at or above the shoulder, there is no exception to this rule.

Use the links below to find out more:

| The stages and types of restraint use
| For babies under 12 months
| For children 4-8 years of age
| For children over 4 years of age
| Questions most often asked

"age" here is approximate and is a guide only, check your manual for details on minimum and maximum weight limits.