New Zealand law requires drivers to be responsible for making sure any child under seven years of age is properly restrained in a car seat that’s appropriate for their age, size and development.
If you choose to have your baby in a hospital or birthing unit you will need to have your car seat ready for when you leave.
All babies, infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible – until the child has reached the maximum weight and/or height allowed by the manufacturer of their child restraint.
All approved child restraints display standard markings to show they are approved.The seat must be certified to one of 3 standards and suitable for the age, weight, height and physical development of the child. The 3 standards
- Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS1754: This can be identified by the Australian “tick” mark.
- US standard FMVSS213: Restraints that comply with this standard must show the number FMVSS213. They carry the “S” mark to show they have been certified for use in New Zealand.
- European standard ECE R44.04: This is labelled with a circle containing an “E” (the number in the circle varies depending on the European country where the seat’s manufactured).
Plunket, NZTA and Consumer NZ websites have lots of helpful information about buying and installing a car seat and how to contact a car seat technician.