A law requiring car safety seats for kids is near the final stages as the Senate and Congress have recently agreed to adopt major provisions of the Senate Bill 1971, which will oblige private vehicle owners to install special restraints or booster seats for children 12 years and below.
While there are plenty of options available in the market, it is important for parents to understand what should be considered when choosing a car seat for your baby or toddler. And what are these? Here are a few important considerations:
- Choose the appropriate seat according to your child’s age, weight, and height.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following child restraint systems, based on the child’s age, weight, and height:
A rear-facing ‘infant’ car seat is recommended for newborn up to 2 years of age. Oftentimes, the weight and height limits can be seen with the instruction manual and labels on the seat.
As soon as your child has exceeded the limits of an ‘infant’ seat, they should use forward-facing car seats, many of which have limits of up to 65lbs or 30kg.
Booster seats are recommended for children of 8 to 12 years of age, or when they reach the height of 4’9”.
- Make sure it’s correctly installed and fits well in your car.
The best way to find out is to have the seller or merchandiser demonstrate how it should be properly installed in your car. One common mistake of parents is not having the seat installed correctly, thus, defeating the purpose of putting their child in a safety seat.
Make sure you also read the manual especially if you intend to use it in multiple vehicles. You should also check if the seat is properly secured before each and every journey.
- Safety over cost.
While it may be tempting to buy second-hand car restraint systems due to economics, especially if you will need more than one, it is important to keep in mind the primary purpose of buying one, which is safety.
Second-hand car seats may have been subjected to wear and tear, specifically its plastic components, or it might have been subjected to a crash. These may even put your child at a higher risk.
- Easily maintained.
Kids will always be kids so it is best to choose a seat that is easy to clean. Certain brands in the market have fabrics that can be wiped easily clean.
Lastly, do remember that kids under 13 are not recommended to seat in the front. In particular, the Child Restraint in Motor Vehicle Bill prohibits children under 150 cm or 56 inches in height to be on the front seat.
More so, the bill emphasizes that children should not be left unattended inside the vehicles.
You can also check out our article on child safety to understand more about this law that is expected to be implemented this mid-2019.