Why do you even need a baby car seat? We found a lot of arguments between husband and wife or elder and youngster when it comes to the decision of buying a car seat. Malaysian’s elders tend to say: “you are not seated in a car seat when you are a baby. And look.. you still grow up big and strong?!”
If your baby is securely strapped in a car seat, their risk of dying in a car accident goes down by 71%, according to the Child Passenger Safety (CDC).
In the year 2020, the Malaysian Government enforced the law and regulation that child is compulsory to be seated in a car seat if he/ she is:
- Below 12 years old, or
- Below 136cm, or
- Below 36kg
Yet buying and installing a car seat can seem overwhelming. So, we are here to guide you so that you choose the right car seat for your little one.
Here are 4 things you need to consider:
- Your baby's age, weight, and height
- Whether the car seat meets safety standards
- Understand your vehicle
- Additional features
1) Your baby's age, weight, and height
All certified car seats have suggested weight to be seated. While i-size safety standard has a height-limit suggestion. Your child's weight should be no higher than allowed on the seat's weight limit or they are not allowed to be seated if the child outgrows the car seat.
Usage of car seats are classified into few groups: Group 0+, Group 1, Group 2 & Group 3
If your child is a newborn, you can consider an infant carrier car seat (birth till 13kg), OR a convertible car seat. The convertible car seat can be seated from birth up to 18kg (about 4 years old), or 25kg (about 7 years old) or 36kg (about 12 years old).
Experts recommend keeping babies under 2 in a rear-facing seat. A rear-facing car seat will protect your baby's delicate neck during a crash.
Tips: Get a convertible car seat saves money in the long term compared to an infant carrier car seat because the convertible car seat can be seated rearward-facing till the age of 2 and then turn forward-facing when grows up. Yet, the convertible car seats cannot be taken in and out of the car as an infant seat can. And the infant seat is more suitable for preterm babies.
For a child 1-year-old and above with a weight above 9kg, you can consider a high-back booster car seat with a harness.
For a child 4 years old and above with a weight above 15kg, you can consider a high-back booster car seat. Some back-less booster seat is recommended for 22kg and above (7 years old)
* The CDC says all children younger than age 13 should ride in the back seat. That holds true if they're in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. The reason: airbagsz can hurt or even kill young children riding in the front.
2) Evaluating Car Seat Quality
You know which type of car seat you need, but what about the brand and model? Here are a few features to look for:
Safety label. Make sure the seat has a label stating that it meets or exceeds standards
Five-point harness. It will protect your baby better than a three-point harness or seatbelt.
New car seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends buying a new car seat - unless you know the accident history of a used car seat.
3) Understand your vehicle
Check your vehicles either comes with a latch attachment. The car seat can be attached using either the vehicle’s seat belt or the Isofix Latch system and both are equally safe when it is properly installed.
Tips: Check all your vehicles available because you sometimes may want to install in either one of it. Go for the Isofix car seat if all you vehicles come with the latch attachment because it is easier to be installed.
4) Additional features
Car seat price can range from RM100 till RM3000 and here are some features to be considered whether it worth the value:
- The durability of the car seat’s frame (thickness of plastic, in-built steel frame)
- Fabric (breathable material)
- Adjustable headrest
- Side impact protection/ rollover test
- Included newborn head and body support
- Extended rearward-facing
- Zip-opened washable seat cover
Hope the above helps you to a better understanding about the car seat. Feel free to chat with us shall you have any questions!