Today everyone is buying cars. It is said that in Kenya estimated 95% of the vehicles on the roads are owned through the acquisition of loans. This has led to an increase in the number of vehicles on the road. That is a is a good thing because personal vehicles provide a lot of convience and in countries like Kenya where the Matatu (Public Transport) industry is in chaos, one does not need to deal with the rude touts.
However, for those with families, our children’s safety has not been put at the fore front with the purchase decision. This is a disappointing trend because as we purchase the vehicles, we need to be able to know if our children are safe in them or not. The car seat belts were manufactured for adults and using them on our children is a disaster waiting to happen. This is why vehicle manufacturers had to invent car seats specifically for children of different ages. Sadly, the use of car seats has not caught on completely in Kenya. To help you put the safety of your child first, here is some information to help you when choosing a car seat for your child. It is a can be a difficult choice to make with the different types and designs out there. Hopefully, this article can provide guide.
These are used for children from the age of 2 and below. They have a harness that cradles and moves with the child to reduce the strain on the child’s neck and spinal cord in case of a crash.
Infant car seat – These are designed for new-borns and small babies only. They are small and portable seat that can only be used in rear-facing. It can be used until the child is eight or nine months but can vary depending on the height and weight of the child.
FORWARD FACING CAR SEAT
Has a harness and tether to prevent your child from moving forward during a crash or in case of emergency brakes.
Combination seat- This seat transitions from a forward facing seat with a harness and tether to a booster seat. This is good as it allows on to save cost on buying a booster seat.
There are other types that can transition from rear to forward facing to booster seats. These are:
Convertible seat- This seat can change from a rear to a forward facing seat with a harness and a tether as the child grows thus it can be used with children of various sizes.
All-in-one seat– it can convert from a rear facing to a forward facing (with harness and tether) to a booster seat as the child grows. This allows the child to stay in the rearing facing longer and works for children of various sizes.
These seats raise your child to allow the seat belt to fit around him or her properly. The seat belt lies on the thighs and shoulders not on the stomach or neck and face. Most parents do not see the wrong in the car seat reaching the child’s neck or face, since the lower belt is holding them in place.The hazard although is it could lead to choking of the child in case of a crash or emergency brakes.
Booster Seat with High Back: This is designed to boost the height of the child and provide head and neck support. It is suitable for vehicles without head rests or high chairs.
Backless Booster Seat: This is designed to boost the height of the child to enable proper fit of the car seat. It is suitable for vehicles with head rests.
A child’s safety doesn’t not end. We always worry but with these we could rest easy knowing we have done something to protect our precious ones.The installation is not hard either so just give it a try.
For more information on the appropriate car seat to for specific age groups, visit healthychildren.org
(image courtesy of Getty images)