Car safety for children
Sponsored: It’s essential to understand car seat safety when it comes to protecting your child, but it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. Here’s what you need to bear in mind.
Carrying little ones around in a car is not something parents do lightly. Accidents can happen and, in those instances, children are even more vulnerable than adults. The standard seats in a car are not suited to young kids and that’s where children’s car seats come in. There is lots of information around why little ones need car seats, what the most appropriate option is for your child, and how to correctly install them in your car. Let’s take a look at the must-know details around car seat safety.
WHY DOES MY CHILD NEED A CAR SEAT?
Unfortunately, vehicle accidents do happen and young children are more likely to be injured in a collision without an adequate car seat. Standard seat belts don’t fit and protect them properly, and airbags can cause harm to little ones rather than prevent it. For these reasons, it’s essential to install a car seat for your child. In the unlikely event of an accident, it will do a lot more to ensure their safety than the standard equipment.
In the UAE, it’s illegal not to provide your child with a car seat if they’re under four years of age. The UAE government recognises the importance of car seats and enforces this rule strongly. Failure to abide by this law will result in a fine of AED 400 and four black points on your licence. Statistics collected by the Department of Health over a ten year period, from 2008-2018, found that over half of fatal injuries in little ones could have been avoided if the child had been in a car seat. So, to take utmost care of your little one, and to stay on the right side of the law, make sure to install a car seat.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT CAR SEAT FOR MY LITTLE ONE?
There will be a different car seat specifically suited to your child depending on their age. Let’s go through all you need to know.
Infant car seats are suitable for babies who weigh up to 13kg and are between 40 and 75 cm long. These seats come with insert pads that provide cushioning and support where your baby needs it.
Once your child has outgrown the infant seat, it’s time for a child car seat. It’s important to make the right choice here as this seat will keep your child safe from 6 months until around 5 years of age. These work for children who weigh 9 to 25 kg and are between 60 and 125 cm long. There are seat options that come with removable infant insert pads. These can protect your baby from the newborn stage, all the way up to 12 years of age, until they don’t need a car seat any more. Options for this kind of seat include Giggles Globe Fix and Joie Everystage Fx, which are both stocked by Babyshop.
Standard car seats come in forward or reverse-facing configurations. Many studies have favoured reverse-facing car seats as they perform even better in cases of accidents, particularly limiting injury to your child’s precious head and neck. Reversible car seats offer the best of both worlds as they can function as both front and rear-facing seats.
When your little one moves beyond needing a traditional car seat, booster seats or booster cushions are great options. They lift your child to a height where the standard car seat belt will work properly for them. Booster seats offer additional support for your child’s neck and back, and will hold them upright even if they fall asleep.
HOW DO I INSTALL A CAR SEAT?
Once you’ve chosen your child’s car seat, it’s vital to install it properly. ISOFIX is a standardised system to install a car seat into most vehicles. It consists of two metal brackets that you can secure the seat to. These will hold your child’s car seat safely and firmly. If you have more than one vehicle, or have a modular car seat that also attaches to a stroller, the ISOFIX seat base is a great complimentary piece. It connects to the ISOFIX points in your car and stays in place so you can quickly and easily mount or remove the car seat. For vehicles without ISOFIX brackets, seats can be secured using the car’s three-point seat belt. It will simply loop through a section of the car seat and lock into place.
If you have any concerns or questions around fitting your car seat, don’t worry. The lovely people at Babyshop are happy to help. They will demonstrate how to safely install the car seat, making sure that it is done properly, so your child can be as safe as possible. They even offer a free installation of the car seat – all you have to do is park your car in the mall’s parking lot and they will take it from there!
WHERE SHOULD I BUY A CAR SEAT?
There are lots of options when it comes to buying a child’s car seat. However, this is not a place to cut corners. Buying new is essential so that you can rely on the condition of the seat. Also, sticking to reputable brands is preferable for the same reason. You might feel like you’re getting a great deal online but that won’t be worth it if you’re unsure how to install it correctly, and poor installation puts your child at much greater risk if an accident does happen.
Babyshop has a huge range of children’s car seats, with various options for each stage of their development. Their car seats meet European and American safety standards and also come with a two year warranty. The staff will help you to pick the correct one for your needs, and even help you to fit it! With top brands like Juniors, Giggles, Joie, Graco, Disney, Nuna and options to suit every budget, you can rest easy, knowing that your child will be kept safe and comfortable for years to come.