5 things you need to know about baby car seats

Updated Oct 07, 2020 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Are you sure your babies are safe in your car?

Parents often think that carrying a baby on their lap while in a moving vehicle is the safest thing they could do. This common mistake has been proven dangerous by many experts.

One successful experiment showed that in the event of a car crash, the airbags would immediately react and can suffocate the baby before the parent can even react. Such predicaments can be prevented by having a specific seat for your child where he has his own safety harness.

This is why major organizations concerned about road safety highly recommend that parents and guardians should learn about baby seats in the car. Here are some of the things you should know about baby car seats brought to you by Philkotse.com to help you find the car seat that’s best for you and your little one.

1. Baby car seats have an expiration

This is something that most people don’t really expect about car seats. When baby car seats are manufactured, their material only retains its strength for up to 6 years. This is unless you purchase an extremely durable brand that states its lifespan and dependability right on the label.

If there’s no specific lifespan guarantee on the label, you can safely assume that the baby car seat is safe to use 6 years from the date of production. This information should be easy to spot on the details plastered to the packaging.

Expiration date of baby car seat

When baby car seats are manufactured, their material only retains its strength for up to 6 years

2. Leaving the straps too loose

There are times when parents get too comfortable with using baby car seats that they don’t bother tightening the straps anymore. They presume that each car ride after the last will be the same accident-free trip. This bad habit should be changed and corrected immediately.

The reminders below are observed to be the most popular reasons why children fly out of their car seats when an accident happens. Keep them in mind every time you buckle your baby in his seat.

The chest clip should not be on or below the stomach. The straps should be just under the baby’s armpit. It should also fit snuggly and should always be locked whenever the child is in the vehicle.

The strap that lies on the collarbone should be tight. Make it as tight as can be without hurting your little passenger. There should no excess strap space once you try to pinch it.

The seat should also fit into the base with little to no space for movement. Test this by tugging the seat forward, backward, to the left and to the right. Adjust the straps and make sure it doesn’t lean more than an inch towards any direction.

Baby in the car seat

There are times when parents get too comfortable with using baby car seats that they don’t bother tightening the straps anymore

>>> Worth to note: How to safely install baby car seat: 4 easy steps for Pinoy parent

3. Second-hand baby car seats

There’s nothing wrong with second-hand baby car seats. Good sanitation only requires that you wash the car seat thoroughly and dry it under the sun. However, there are things to consider when accepting second-hand baby car seats.

Rule of thumb is that a guardian should never have a child re-use a car seat that has already been in an accident. This means that online transactions where you intend to buy a used car seat for a cheaper price are risky.

Man cleaning a baby car seat

Good sanitation only requires that you wash the car seat thoroughly and dry it under the sun

You may not only be risking your money but you’re also risking your child’s safety. If someone is offering you a used car seat, regardless if it’s given or it’s for sale, make sure that it’s from a person that you trust. If you’re sure that the person can be trusted, make sure that you still check the car seat using these two factors:

Recall: It’s important to know the brand and model of the car seat and research about it. If you see that there has been news regarding a manufacturer’s recall, then your unit may have some quality issues.

Original parts: Before baby car seats are produced and introduced to the market, the separate parts undergo multiple tests to guarantee the durability and quality of the product. If the baby car seat offered to you is made of different parts then it may not be as dependable. There could also be a possibility that the car seat has already been in a car accident, which would explain why the original parts were replaced.

Authenticity: Counterfeit products are everywhere these days. So if a baby seat is being sold to you for a considerably low price, you might need to find out more about it. Take note of the brand and model of the car seat and visit the manufacturer’s website. It’s bound to have tips on how to differentiate their certified products from replicas.

>>> Must read: Car seat law Philippines: Republic Act No. 11229 begins at February 22, 2019

4. The bigger seat your baby needs, the less safe he becomes

Baby car seat size starts from the rear-facing baby carrier that offers the most protection. This is for infants that are three months and over. Then, there is the front-facing car seat that’s meant for children at the age of one and older.

When your child reaches two years old or finally becomes too big for the front-facing seat, he is now entitled to a booster seat. Put it simply - the older he gets, the less protection his seat provides. This goes on until he is finally old enough to wear a seatbelt.

This may seem like bad news however, there are more factors to road safety than just seatbelt. Make sure to obey the rules of the road, drive carefully and make sure to use in-car baby seats properly.

Kids in the baby car seat

When your child reaches two years old or finally becomes too big for the front-facing seat, he is now entitled to a booster seat

5. Test the baby seat before buying

One mistake that most parents commit when selecting a baby car seat is not testing it out before fully purchasing. Sometimes, even though the dimensions and size are already stated on the label, you may still end up buying a baby seat with the wrong fit.

There are also cases when the hooks and anchors are mismatched to the ones on your car’s seat. That’s why it is advisable to take the car which you plan to have the baby seat installed and test a couple of brands and models until you find the seat that fits perfectly.

Most sales attendants will let you take the product out of the box to test it. They will even help you with finding the car seat the matches your vehicle. Take advantage of their help and ask for recommendations about what it is you’re looking for.

Baby in the baby car seat

One mistake that most parents commit when buying a baby car seat is not testing it out before fully purchasing

>>> Click to get more helpful tips and advice for all car owners

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez

Author

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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