We are pretty sure that you are already aware of the recently-passed Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, also known as Senate Bill 1971. This bill requires children with the age of 12 or younger to use a child car restraint system or what we all know as child car seats. There are different variations of child car seats: infant car seats, convertible infant-toddler seats, and seatbelt-positioning booster seats.
The R.A. 11229 has been signed and is now an active law, though it is not yet fully implemented as of this writing. Since child car seats will soon be a mandatory car accessory, parents will be obligated to obtain one, as traveling with a child without it is punishable under the court of law. However, we still think it is best to personally know its importance rather than just buying it because the law says so. Now, how important are child car seats really?
Let’s pull up the numbers.
Road accidents are one of the major causes of deaths in a year, especially high-speed crashes. According to website SafeSeats4Kids.AAA.com, car crashes are the leading cause of injury and death for children. That’s because seatbelt alone can’t protect children’s body structure.
According to the website, child restraint systems reduce the risk of injury by 71% to as high as 82%, while the risk of death is brought down to 28% – that is if we compare it to a regular seatbelt. Booster seats, on the other hand, reduce non-fatal injuries among four to eight-year-old children by 45%. Those are undoubtedly significant numbers for your child’s safety.
Seatbelts weren’t designed for children.
Thanks to Nils Bohlin and his three-point seatbelt invention, every passenger of any car is safe and secured in place. As ingenious as it actually is, the life-saving three-point seatbelt only has a standard size. That makes it unsafe for the little ones, especially for children below five feet.
If you secure a kid below the said height, chances are the latch will be on top of his/her neck and abdomen. If this is the case, even a minor collision may result to serious injury or even death. The reason why car seats were invented is to provide proper latch placement and cushion in accordance to height.
Child car seats don’t just provide safety but comfort as well.
Since children have smaller body sizes, a car seat designed to fit an adult wouldn’t be as comfy even with added improvements such as lumbar massager or delicate seat cushioning. Aside from having suspended legs on the edge of the seat, the child may also slide all over the place while you drive.
With a child car seat, your young ones may sleep safe and sound. This is why you need to make sure you pick the one with the best comfort, safety feature, and value for money when buying a child car seat. You may check this list of some of the car seat brands available in the Philippines.
Some baby car seats are even safer than you think.
Aside from securing your kid in place in the event of a collision through the ISOFIX anchors, some child car seat event went as far as integrating an airbag. Other car seats feature high-grade material specially designed to be gentle on skin, while some have very soft cushion paddings. We even saw some car seats with built-in cup holders, rotating mechanism, and convertible to a walking stroller. Talk about safety with an added bonus of convenience – all for the young version of you.