“Bluey” Sparks Statewide Conversation on Car Seat Safety

The popular cartoon Bluey has sparked a vital conversation about child car seat safety in Queensland. Kidsafe Queensland, located in Stafford, urges parents to prioritise both the law and best practice recommendations.

The episode, which aired on the 14th of April 2024, featured Chilli Heeler navigating car seat arrangements with her four energetic pups, prompting discussions about where children can legally sit in vehicles.

Queensland law mandates that children under four must never be seated in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows. A child between the ages of four and seven can only sit in the front seat as a last resort, even when all rear seats are filled with children under the age of seven.

Photo Credit: Website/ StreetSmarts

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has since seen a surge in online engagement, with their child restraint information webpage experiencing a 1,000% increase in views.

“It’s fantastic to see the Bluey team address this important topic,” said Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish. “The episode serves as a timely reminder for parents to consider both legal requirements and best practices when it comes to car seat safety.”

However, for optimal safety, TMR recommends keeping all children under 12 in the back seat. In situations where a child must sit upfront, using an untethered booster seat and maximising the distance between the child and the dashboard is crucial.

Whilst children aged seven and above can legally use a standard seatbelt in the back, a booster seat remains preferred until their shoulders reach the designated height marker. Most children won’t achieve a proper fit with a standard seatbelt until around age 11 or 12.

Photo Credit: Facebook/ Kidsafe Queensland

TMR has partnered with Kidsafe Queensland to provide free resources for parents, including instructional videos demonstrating proper child restraint installation and usage. These resources can be found here.

The National Transport Commission will also be conducting a review of Australian child restraint regulations in the coming year, ensuring these critical safety measures remain aligned with best practices.

“We strongly encourage parents to prioritise their child’s size and age, not just legal requirements, when choosing a car seat and seating position,” said Kidsafe Qld CEO Susan Teerds. “Keeping children rear-facing for as long as possible and using booster seats until they fit adult seatbelts properly are crucial safety steps.”

Published Date 23-April-2024