Every year, thousands of kids are injured and unfortunately killed because of road-related incidents specifically car crashes. This is where car seats come into play. As small and very minor as it seems, it can make the difference between life and death. As parents, that’s one of the most important responsibilities to do their best to avoid accidents to keep yourself, your children and your family safe.
Getting the right car seat can save a child's life. However, there are so many available car seats in the market, picking and choosing the right one can prove to be a headache.
Choosing the correct car seat depends on some factors including the child's age, size, and developmental needs. Philkotse.com has prepared a quick guide on how to select a proper car seat based on the age group and recommended the seat type that best fit your children. Make sure that you’re investing in the right one!
I. Best car seat for infants and toddlers
The most recommended type of car seat are rear-facing only and rear-facing convertible. The rule of thumb is, all infants, as well as toddlers, should use a rear-facing type of seat until they have reached the maximum weight and/or height permitted by the car seat's manufacturer which is usually 2 years or more.
All infants starting with their first ride from the hospital going home should have rear-facing seat. This is probably the most recommended and the longest that the kids will enjoy and be strapped in.
1 Rear-facing only car seats
- These are used for infants between 22 to 35 pounds
- It has small and built-in carrying handles
- Typically comes with a base which can be installed and left inside the car
- It is solely for traveling and cannot be used outside of the car
Rear-facing only car seats are used for infants between 22 to 35 pounds
2. Rear-facing convertible seats
- These are bulkier compared to infant seats. They don’t come with lock-in bases for the car or carrying handles.
- Can be used either by rear facing or converted to forward facing for older children when they’ve exceeded the weight and height limit.
- The limit is higher for this type with weight up to 40-50 pounds
- This car seat includes a 5-point harness that can be attached at the shoulder, hips, and between the legs.
A rear-facing convertible seat can be for older children when they’ve exceeded the weight and height limit
II. Best car seat for preschoolers and toddlers
The convertible and forward facing with harness seat types are best recommended for this age group. The infants who have graduated from the rear-facing height or weight limit can now have seats with harnesses incorporated in them up until the full weight or height accepted.
There are various forms of convertible and forward facing car seat types:
- Convertible seats – these includes3-in-1 seats.
- Combination seats with harness – these are sets that can be used forward facing with a harness for children with a weight of up 90 pounds. Without the use of the harness, this can be used as a booster that should be able to support up to 120 pounds.
Combination seats with harness are sets that can be used forward facing with a harness for children with a weight of up 90 pounds.
- Built-in seats – there are some vehicles that come pre-built-in with this type of seat. The maximum weight and height limit changes depending on the brand.
- Travel vests – these type can be used by children weighing up to 168 pounds and can be an alternative to the more traditional forward facing seats. These are normally serviceable when a vehicle has a lap-only seat belt in the back for kids with special needs. These vests may need to be paired with a top lead.
Travel vests can be an alternative to the more traditional forward facing seats.
III. Best car seat school-aged children
After exceeding the harness seat types, children can now transition to booster seats or use a belt-positioning sit until the actual car seat belt fits properly and securely. This is commonly the case until they have reached 4’9” tall and are between the ages of 8 to 12 years old. Here are some specifics about the booster seats:
- There are no harness straps instead shoulder and lap seat belts are used.
- These seats are meant to design to lift the kid/child up in order for the lap and shoulder seat belts fit snugly and securely over the strongest parts of the child’s body.
- Most of the booster seats are really not bolted to the vehicle seat with the seat belt or lower hook and lead but simply lay and rest on the vehicle seat, held securely once the seatbelt is latched over the child.
Booster seats are meant to design to lift the child up
Purchasing a car seat is an investment. It needs to be thought of carefully. Today, parents get the value based on the price tag and a good quality car seat definitely comes with a hefty price. Choosing the correct car seat takes lengthy discussions and back and forth store visits to ensure that it is ‘the one'.
Comparing not only the prices but also reviews and first-hand experience from friends and expert product reviewers should be taken into consideration. As each child is unique with different needs, parents should be conscious of these needs and make smart decisions.
>>> Read more: Top 10 seven-seat vehicles for Filipino families
Safety should never be taken lightly and although the whole experience of finding one can be challenging and can cause a headache, not to mention a dent in the budget, it is a doable task that can leave you smiling and relieved. Don't hesitate to ask questions and do personal research before purchasing because again, the correct car seat can save a life. It can save your child's life.