Your child is the most precious thing in life. As parents, you try ensure they have the best healthcare, education, and nutrition so they may reach their full potential in life – likewise, for your children’s safety, it is imperative that they’re always buckled up in a child seat, whilst in a car.
Child seats are designed to take advantage of the car’s normal anchorage points (like seat belts and ISOFIX points) and cradle the child in the correct position within a reinforced shell to give them the best protection, and therefore, best chance of survival in the event of a crash.
But there is common misconception that child seats are expensive, in other cases, users might also be perplexed by what type to buy and for how long it can be used safely. Well, lets break this down and simplify it.
Child seats are not expensive. Though some child seats from reputable brands can cost upwards of RM 1.2k, good quality seats which conform to the minimum ECE R44-04 standard start at just over RM 300 (non ISOFIX).
Also read: Child seat basics - buying the right child seat; is it safe to buy used?
The Perodua Care Seat for instance, is a universal fitting ECE R44 rated ISOFIX car seat, that sells for just RM 680, much less than it would cost for good quality window tints on your car. The Perodua Care Seat can be purchased at any Perodua authorised showroom.
So yes, if you can afford the car, ensure you have the right seat to keep your children safe on the road.
ISOFIX child seats are more expensive, but it’s not necessary to buy an ISOFIX seat, especially if you own an older car that isn’t equipped with ISOFIX anchors. The main advantage of ISOFIX seats are its seat anchors, which interlock on standardised points on the seat frame. This takes the guesswork out of properly installing a child seat.
Also read: What are the child seat interfaces?
However, you can do just as well using a belt-locked child seat, just read the manual carefully and ensure the seat is belted in properly at the preset points and be sure to tension the seat belt to properly secure the child seat in place.
Cheaper used seats or hand-me-down seats are fine as well, as long as they have not yet expired. Keep in mind, child-seats are made up of a reinforced plastic (for the body) and inner foam cushion that have a usable shelf life, as they can deteriorate due to weather and heat.
Also read: Scored a used child car seat? Have you checked the expiry date?
Child seats typically have a lifespan of between 6 and 10 years from the date of manufacture. To be sure, check out the ECE R44/R129 labels on the side/rear of the seats, which typically will state manufacturing and expiry date of the seat.
The most important takeaway is understanding how important a child seat is to secure your child whilst in a car. The forces exerted in a crash are immense and often cause serious injuries to adults let alone a newborn or young child.
As many Malaysian’s will get on the roads for the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays, be sure to take some time buckle-up your child before you get on the roads, as the old saying goes… it’s better to be safe, than sorry.
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