It sounds kind of ridiculous, but changes to car seat regulations are impacting on family size.
Most parents would know, that over the last few years there have been big changes to car seat and car safety regulations in NSW. But have the new changes to car seats made it difficult for parents to have the number of children they desire?
Recently, I went to have a car seat fitted professionally in my car. During the appointment I got to talking to the installer. He was telling me that children up to 7 years of age must be in a car seat (type dependent on height/age/weight) and that while it’s not a legal requirement, the recommendation is actually for children up to 12-years-old to remain in an approved seat. 12? That’s potentially a high school student!
As a parent, it becomes a very tricky, very expensive exercise in order to comply with the regulations.
You see, most cars will take 2 approved seats across the back seat.
Three becomes tricky depending on the type of car you have.
It wasn't a problem previously if you had 3 children because likely, your eldest would have outgrown their car seat, and therefore be able to fit between the younger two across the back seat. Now, a quick search of the NRMA Car Seat Fitting Advice highlights that not all cars, in fact fewer than you think, can accommodate 3 cars seats professionally installed (which is recommended due to the fact that 80% of car seats are actually incorrectly installed in private vehicles).
So, for many, including myself, a new car is often required if you'd like more than 2 children and as we know, bigger cars mean a higher cost (not to mention the cost of running a bigger, more powerful car).
Let's say that you're one of these crazy types, like me, who dream of a larger family. With car seats costing up to $700 each, that's a bloody exxy trip to the shops to fit out three children.