In what should be concerning news for parents, only one child seat out of 22 tested by the NSW government’s Crashlab program achieved a full five-star safety rating.
The top-rated seat, the rear-facing Nuna Kilk, was the sole seat able to provide full protection against head, neck and torso trauma during a 60km/h frontal collision.
Read next: Child car seats safety guide
Meanwhile, just four other seats received a four-star protection rating – the Safe-N-Sound Kid Guard Pro, Safety 1st Summit AP, Infa-Secure Luxi II and Babylove Taurus 2. These seats all used a variety of configurations, with one rear facing, one forward facing and two being booster seats.
Only two scored three stars, meaning the bulk of the field received either two stars (nine seats) or a paltry one star (six seats).
When it came to ease of use – a crucial factor considering seat safety depends on parents/carers being able to install it correctly – there were no five-star scores. The top rated seat for ease of use was the Safe-N-Sound Kid Guard Pro, while three other seats achieved a three-star rating (Infa-Secure Versatile, Babylove Taurus 2 and Novus Booster). The rest of the seats tested received mostly two-star ease of use scores, with three one-star scores.
And while Infa-Secure had one seat achieve a decent four-star protection rating, the company was also the only one to have a seat receive a single-star result for both protection and ease of use – the Infa-Secure Luxi II. It appears brand is no guarantee of safety in the world of child seats.
Curious to know more details about the test results, or compare your own child seats against the rest? Parents can look up scores on childcarseats.com.au, a collaborative resource which has compiled results from tests performed by the NSW and Victorian transport authorities, the Transport Accident Commission, NRMA, RACV and Kidsafe Australia.