How to use Child Car Seat Properly
21 June, 2017
Many people in Indonesia are not familiar with using child car seat. There is no law that obligates people to put infants or babies in car seat during a trip, making the use of child car seat something that is often ignored although it is highly important for safety.
Child car seat is a seat made particularly for babies or kids of certain age to protect them while they are in a car. The seat is especially designed to keep children safe during a trip. There are many kinds of car seat, depending on a child’s age, height and weight. Some of the things that should be considered when using a car seat include:
- Pick car seat for certain age
- Infant car seat
It comes in the shape of a basket, typically used for newborn babies to babies with maximum weight of 10 kg. The car seat is positioned backwards. It is highly recommended that a baby with less than 10 kg of weight, which is under one year old, should be placed on rear-facing car seat. It’s safer for the baby’s immature spine, especially when the car stops suddenly.
- Convertible car seat
The shape of a convertible car seat resembles a driver seat. It has head supports both in left and right side. The car seat can be set rear-facing for babies weigh less than 10 kg and are under one year old. It can be set facing forwards for babies weigh 10 kg to 20 kg and are already one year old.
After using infant car seat in basket shape, you can upgrade by using booster car seat that is equipped with harness (do not depend only on car seatbelt). This type of car seat has a quite longer useful life. It can be used for babies under 10 kg of weight until they are high enough to use car seatbelt without harness.
- Consider about car seat position
You can place a car seat on the middle passenger seat, because if you put it on front passenger seat that has air bag, the air bag can harm your baby in case of accident. Do not put a baby on the front passenger seat before the baby is 3 years old or weigh around 16 kg. Aside from that, car seat must be reclined to 45 degrees so that the baby sitting on it won’t have difficulty to breath. But if your car seat cannot be reclined, you can put a small towel to wedge the car seat.
- Proper seating
Make sure that your child seats on the car seat properly. If you place a baby on a car seat, it is highly important to make sure that car seat harness is tight and in line with baby’s body. The harness should be level with or just below the baby’s shoulders. Place the baby on car seat, and then put shoulder traps on the baby’s shoulders and hips. Tighten the straps on left and right shoulders, and then lock the harness in the middle of baby’s hips. Make sure that shoulder straps are not too loose or too tight for the baby. To check it, insert your finger between your baby’s shoulder and a strap. A strap that fits snugly is sufficient for only one finger. This is to make sure that your baby can sit comfortably on the car seat for the whole trip. For an older child, you can recline the car seat to 35 degrees.
For your child’s safety during a travel by car, always use car set. Start this habit when your child is still a baby so that you won’t get rejection when the baby gets older.