How to install your ISOFIX compatible child restraint
Before commencing any installation its vital that you read the manufacturer’s instruction manual in full. If you don’t have a copy most seat manufacturer’s websites have a section with downloadable manuals available for car seat users.
When you have read your manual head over to the car. The first thing to do is locate the ISOFIX mounting points which are usually at the bottom of the seat where the seat back meets the seat base. If the car has ISOFIX mounting points, the location may be identified by a symbol on the carseat like these:
Sometimes the ISOFIX anchorage bars may be visible like this:
If your child restraint has rigid connectors fitted, engage each connector to the corresponding ISOFIX bar on the vehicle:
Push the child restraint towards the backrest applying a firm and even pressure on both sides. Care should be taken to ensure both sides have been engaged. This can be confirmed when the ISOFIX indicator turns from red to green.
If your restraint comes with flexible ISOFIX connectors (built on seatbelt material), engage the connectors into each ISOFIX low
anchorage. A click may be felt and a green indicator will show on the top of the flexible connector when it has engaged.
Pull each strap to ensure both lower anchorage connectors are engaged and all slack is removed from either side.
All ISOFIX compatible child restraints also require the use of the top tether strap which must be attached
to the vehicle’s child restraint anchorage point, and be adjusted to remove slack. Please note the top tether strap is engaged to minimise any forward momentum in a rear end accident. It needs to be adjusted firmly but not overtensioned otherwise your restraint will lift off the car seat and feel loose when touching.
No ISOFIX? No problem
Please note if your car does not have ISOFIX available, all Australian ISOFIX compatible child restraints are also able to be installed using the car seatbelt and top tether strap, just as in non-ISOFIX compatible restraints. The rigid connectors on the child restraint can be retracted if you are installing using the car seatbelt.
Can I use a restraint purchased or manufactured overseas?
Child restraints purchased from overseas, including ISOFIX compatible child restraints, are illegal to use in
Australia as they do not comply with AS/NZS 1754. Unlike the European standard, the Australian/New Zealand Standard requires all restraints to:
- have a top tether strap
- have a rebound prevention feature to keep a rearward-facing child restraint in the correct position in the event of a crash
- be tested in a side impact
- be tested in an inverted position to test for occupant ejection to ensure the child does not get ejected from their child restraint if the vehicle rolls.
AS/NZS 1754:2013 specifies child restraints Types A1/A2/A4, Type B, Type D, Type A1/B, Type A2/B, and Type A4/B are allowed to be fitted with ISOFIX attachment.
Booster seats and Type G combinations cannot use ISOFIX anchorages as there has been some concern
internationally about their likelihood for the occupant to submarine and Type G restraints are not allowed as the low anchorage may not be strong enough to withstand the crash load.