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Isofix coming to Australian baby seats

April 2012

News Flash! Australian families will have to wait until 2013 to get access to ISOFIX child restraint systems in which the European market has had for almost 15 years. After more than a decade of delays and debate, the Federal Government has announced a new vehicle safety standard that will enable European Isofix child seats to be used.

What is Isofix you might ask? Isofix is the name given to the design of a seat that clips into two rigid latch points at the base of the back seat. – “For many parents this means child restraints will be easier to install while maintaining a high level of safety for their children.”

  

Isofix seats were delayed in Australia because experts initially said they were no better at protecting an infant in a crash than the seatbelt-and-tether system mandated since 1975.

However, a study by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria in 2004 found that 70 per cent of tethered child seats were fitted incorrectly, versus international studies that showed 2 per cent of Isofix child seats were fitted incorrectly.

A statement from the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, said: “While the current Australian child restraints have been very successful in reducing death and injuries in children over the past 30 years, many parents have indicated a preference for child restraints that use the international Isofix system.

Standards Australia has started on the regulations that will clear the way for Isofix seats to be used and is expected to take at least 12 months.

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