5 Key safety factors when choosing a car-seat

During the last four weeks Cute Baby SA, in collaboration with Maxi Cosi SA, have been highlighting key safety aspects with regards to child car-seat. There is no denying that car restraints for children play a vital role in protecting children from serious injuries or death in car collisions.

For child car safety seats to be most effective, they have to be appropriate for the age/weight/height of the child, and be properly installed in the car. Only then can they provide their protective benefits fully.

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Here are 5 factors to bear in mind when choosing and installing car safety seats for young children:

1. Car seat should be weight or height appropriate
Proper use of car child seats includes choosing the correct type of restraint for your child. Parents are required to know the correct weight of their child as most car seats available in the market use weight as a form of measurement. Alternatively, there is a relatively newer type of car seat available in the South African market that meets the latest European legislation demands – the i-Size car seat for children – uses the height of a child to correctly identify the most appropriate restraint to be used.

2. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions
The many different brands and models of child car restraints require parents to refer to the individual manufacturer’s instructions for use and installing the child safety seat in the vehicle. If you have installed a different safety seat before, it is still good practice to check whether the newer model has different requirements to be met with.

3. Banish all doubt with new child car seats
For utmost peace of mind, always choose a new car safety seat over a used or second-hand one. Even if the used model shows no visible signs of wear and tear, the quality of the materials used in the design can still be called into question. Not knowing the history of a second-hand car seat, can you really afford to ignore the danger of using a child car seat that has been in a collision previously?

4. Know the model’s expiry date
Even car seats for children have expiry dates. It is equally important when choosing a car restraint that parents ask about the expiry date of the model. The general suggestion is that car seats for children should be used for a maximum of six years from the date of manufacture.

5. Pay attention to the straps
You know you have secured the protection of your child’s body if the straps have a secure and comfortable fit. The strap should lie against the child’s body and the fit should allow one finger between child and strap. Ideally, the chest clip should be level with the armpits.

As challenging as it may sometimes be to implement, the environment of a car should be neat and tidy at all times, with all loose objects put away safely. Unsecured loose objects could pose a serious threat in the event of a collision. The forceful impact of a projectile water bottle, for instance, presents a further danger to the occupants in the car.

Keep your little loved one safe. Using a car restraint for children is an act of love.

To highlight our support of #CarSafetyMonth, Cute Baby SA and Maxi-Cosi SA will be giving the WINNER of our April competition a Maxi-Cosi Tobi car-seat (colour; confetti) valued at over R4,000. 

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