National Child Restraint Best Practice Guidelines

Keeping children as safe as possible while travelling in motor vehicles

NeuRA and Kidsafe want to see all children as safe as possible when travelling in cars. Ensuring that parents receive straightforward, consistent advice from all sources on how to keep children safe in cars is an important step in making this happen.

2021 National Guidelines

The National Guidelines for the Safe Restraint of Children Travelling in Motor Vehicles have been developed under the auspices of Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Kidsafe – The Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia. They provide best practice recommendations for how to safely transport children in motor vehicles. The 2021 edition of the guidelines are a major update from the previous guidelines published in 2013.

Information for parents and carers

Keeping Children as Safe as Possible When Travelling in Cars – Download PDF Brochure which includes the 5-step test

For more detailed information on keeping children safe, including restraint choice, correct use, and other situations see: Kidsafe – Car and Road Safety Resources.

Information for road safety professionals

The guideline recommendations on pages 33-79 of this document were approved by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) on the 27th of November 2020, under Section 14A of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992. In approving the guideline recommendations, NHMRC considers that they meet the NHMRC standard for clinical practice guidelines.

Guidelines Document. This document contains an executive summary plus all the research evidence to support the guidelines recommendations. It includes guidelines covering choice of an appropriate restraint, correct use of restraints, seating position, and other less common situations.

Key changes in the 2021 Guidelines. This fact sheet shows the key changes from the 2013 guidelines.

Technical Report. This document describes the methods used in developing the guidelines and assessing the research evidence.

Administrative Report. This document describes the process of developing the guideline, including the processes used for developing the guideline.

Dissemination Plan. This document describes how the guidelines are intended to be disseminated.

Fair Use Policy. This document outlines the requirements for re-use of the guidelines content.

Note: The 2013 National Guidelines have been superseded by the 2021 guidelines. The 2013 documents are available on request from Professor Lynne Bilston (email: