The child seat on sale in Australia that just got an awfully low safety rating.

It’s one of the biggest considerations for parents – the safety of their kids, especially in motor vehicles. That’s why many of us rely on ratings and reviews from trusted authorities to help inform our decisions about child safety seats.

The National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), in partnership with Kidsafe NSW, has today announced the latest round of Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) results, sharing the scores for nine child seats on the market, after they were evaluated for safety and ease of use.

The results include one seat which scored just 2.5 stars for protection when forward-facing; the Safe-N-Sound Graphene, which retails for in excess of $400. Interestingly, this seat achieved the highest rating for ease of use.

The Safe-N-Sound Graphene. Image: Safe-N-Sound

The lowest score for safety was given to the InfaSecure Neon II, which retails for around $200, and achieved just 1.9 stars for protection when rear facing for a baby under 12 months of age.

The InfaSecure Neon II. Image: InfaSecure

The Mother's Choice Trinity booster seat, which retails for $99, had the highest safety rating of the nine, with a safety score of 4.8 (but only a 2.8 for ease of use).

Mother's Choice Trinity booster seat. Image: Mother's Choice

“A car seat is one of the first and last pieces of baby equipment a parent will purchase that will be used every day for several years, and can be one of the most important,” the NRMA’s Road Safety Expert, Dimitra Vlahomitros, said.

It is important to note that there was not one seat which achieved a perfect five star rating, but the NRMA also pointed out that all of the seats did comply with the Australian Standard.

Vlahomitros also noted that parents shouldn't assume that price of a child seat reflects the standard of its safety.

“You can actually score a bargain and score a safe seat by looking around. Safety doesn’t come at a price and these results show us that the most expensive seat isn’t often the safest."

Here is a summary of the NRMA's findings:

Summary of the latest CREP rating results. Source: NRMA

Christine Erskine, Kidsafe NSW Executive Officer, said parents always wanted to do the right thing, but often needed guidance in decisions.

“One of the most common grey areas is when to graduate a child into a booster seat or into an adult seat," she said.

"When kids see their peers sitting in adult seats they start pestering their parents to let them do the same, but we ask parents and carers to be strong and explain to children how important it is to stay safe, and not give into that pester power.”

CREP ratings also assess seats on ease of use, which Erskine said was helpful for caregivers who share responsibilities.

“Some parents and carers might be reluctant to move seats around. But if the seat comes with a high ease of use rating, it helps people share school pick-ups and drop offs with peace of mind that the children are safely secured,” Erskine said.

How do you choose a car seat for your kids? Tell us in the comments section below.

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