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The way that CREP assesses child car seats has remained largely unchanged since 2012. However, developments in the Australian child car seat market mean that revised testing and scoring protocols are necessary. The scoring protocols that apply from 2018 mean that child car seats assessed under the 2012 system cannot be compared to those tested under the 2018 scoring system. While tougher scoring means seats may receive lower star ratings, this does not mean they are less safe.
CREP has improved the test procedure to make sure parents get the best information on child car seats and to keep up with changes in the child car seat market. While our scoring system uses the Australian Standard as a starting point, we test beyond the requirements of the standard. These changes will ensure we continue to improve the safety of child car seats sold in Australia.
All seats with a one-star rating meet the Australian standard and are considered safe. Seats with ratings greater than one star exceed the Australian standard.
The crash protection scores include critical protection measures. Child car seats that fail any of these measures would result in a poor outcome for the seat occupant in a road crash. 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.
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)
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
- Securing the child in the restraint
- Securing the child car seat in the vehicle.