What is the importance of having the right car safety seat for kids? Here is all you need to know about car safety seat for children and how to avoid accidents.
In India, car seats were unheard of till a few years back. But with increasing road accident risks, parents have become more aware of safety norms for kids. Research shows that a child who’s fastened or seated properly in a vehicle is less likely to suffer from injuries, in an unfortunate event of an accident.
You should ensure that the right safety measures are implemented when traveling with kids – be it of any age group. Here’s a guide on the same.
How To Choose The Right Car Safety Seat?
There are different kinds of seats available for infants along with variations for slightly older kids. So it is essential that you have a basic understanding of choosing the right one-
For infants up to six months, you can use a car seat that is rearward facing and from reputed brands.
6+ months to 4-year olds should be fastened to a rear forward facing seat. It should have an inbuilt harness and restrain the child from sudden moves.
Kids older than this should use a belt-positioning booster seat till the car belt fastens them well. These feature an in-built harness too.
Those older than 12-13 years or of suitable height and weight can use regular car belts. But the belts should cover their lap and shoulders aptly.
Exercise Caution When Installing The Seat
When installing a car seat, make sure that you attach the seat to the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system correctly. Each vehicle features a different LATCH, and you should pick a seat that is compatible with your car.
You should also make a note that children in booster seats are restrained – using appropriate lap and sash type approved seatbelt. You have to adjust and fasten this correctly and double-check the same.
Tips on Avoiding Accidents With Kids in The Car
Despite your safe driving, the negligence of someone else could hurt your child. Implementing some safety measures can ensure that you have a smooth drive, and your kids are unharmed.
Make sure that all children below 4 years don’t travel in the front. The risks of injuries are higher when kids are in the front seat.
Ensure that every time your kids are in the car, they have seated appropriately. Check for harness, seat belt, etc. Do not take the risk of riding without belts.
From your end, follow all traffic and speeding rules. This would mean no cell phones when driving or constantly peeking back. If your kids are distracting you, pull over - finish the conversation and then continue.
When going for a longer ride, make sure that your kids have enough entertainment at the back. Else, they are likely to get irritated and fuss more - distracting you.
Buy a car that is sturdier and durable. You are tempted to buy a convertible or a sports car, but perhaps an SUV is a safer option right now.
Also Read: 10 Commandments for a Happy Road Trip
Everyday Car Safety And Children
Using car seats on a day-to-day basis or fastening buckles and belts is not a herculean task. It barely takes a minute or two but ensures complete safety of your kids. Additionally, you should get both car insurance and child insurance – and keep these papers in order, in the case of emergencies.
Do not let your kids ride in the front seat till they are about 7-8 years old.
Standing and jumping around in the car should not be allowed. As a rule of thumb, no seat belt should mean NO car rides.
These little things will go a long way in keeping your family secure. And make your and your kids’ car rides a smooth and enjoyable experience every time.