Ratings explained

Revised assessment methods

The way that CREP assesses child car seats has remained largely unchanged since 2012. Developments in child car seats supplied to the Australian market meant that the testing and scoring protocols needed to be updated, and revised scoring protocols were introduced for 2018. This means that child car seats assessed previously should not be compared to those tested under the 2018 scoring system. Whereas the revised scoring may result in lower star ratings for some types of child car seats, all the child car seats comply with the Australian Standard and provide a good level of safety.

Critical protection

The crash protection scores include critical protection measures. While all child car seats on this website meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754, a child car seat that scores zero in any of the critical protection measures will automatically score an overall rating of 1 star.

Ease of use

There are five ease-of-use measures for rearward facing, forward facing and booster seats.

Seats are ranked using their overall score in crash protection as the first criterion, followed by ease-of-use.

Protection ratings

The more purple stars, the better a child car seat has performed in protecting the child from injury in a crash. This refers to the following criteria:

  • Retaining the dummy's head in frontal and side impacts
  • Retaining the dummy's torso in frontal and side impacts (critical feature)
  • Minimising upward and/or rotational movements during rebound stage of frontal impact
  • Maintaining structural integrity in frontal and side impacts (critical feature)
  • Distributing loads to the dummy's torso in frontal impact
  • Managing impact energy to the dummy's head in frontal impact
  • Managing impact energy to the dummy's head in side impacts
  • Managing impact energy to the dummy's torso in frontal impact
  • Minimising slip on the shoulder harness adjuster during front and side impacts (critical feature)

Under the 2018 scoring system, child car seats may be awarded extra points if they perform well beyond the test limits. For example, seats may be scored 20/16 in “Minimising forward head displacement” or 12/8 in “Minimising forward knee displacement”.

Ease of use ratings

The more blue stars, the easier a child car seat is to use, meaning the car seat is more likely to be used correctly

  • Packaging
  • Instructions
  • Labels
  • Securing the child in the restraint
  • Securing the child car seat in the vehicle.