Sunday, November 23, 2008

Choosing a baby Car Seat

Selecting a car seat for your baby can be quite a challenge as we found out. There are so many brands and models in the market. The price itself also varies greatly. You can find some at a really attractive price that starts from slightly over a RM100 to those prices closed to RM2000.

A car seat is definitely an important accessory that one must invest for our baby once they arrived. Although most mothers would prefer to carry their infant in their arms while travelling, this is certainly unwise for safety reasons. Without any proper restraints, a collision even at 50km/hour could prove fatal to the baby, who could be crushed by the weight of the mother, strangled by the front seat belt or thrown against the dashboard or through the windscreen.

Ryan started with an infant car seat from Peg Prego and when he outgrew it, we finally invested in a Chicco Proxima car seat that could accommodate Ryan till 4 years old (or 18kg).

Since we rely heavily on the car seat to protect our baby in the event of an accident, it is paramount that the car seat manufactured has to pass certain certification to verify that the specifications of which the car seat was designed and built were able to provide the safety level required. It is pointless to buy a very affordable car seat that has not been tested extensively or certified fit to do the job. Hence, it is critical that an appropriate car seat (regardless of brands or price) MUST conform to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 4403.

Weight of the child is the most important factor in deciding the type of car seat to use. Manufacturers have also categorized the different types and model based on the weight of the child.

Rearward facing Baby Seats
Group 0
for babies up to 10kgs (22lbs), roughly from birth to 6-9 months
Group 0+ for babies up to 13kg (29lbs), roughly from birth to 12-15 months

Forward facing Child Seats
Group 1 for children weighing 9-18kgs (20-40lbs), roughly from 9 months to 4 years

Booster Seat
Group 2
for children weighing 15-25kgs (33-55lbs), roughly from age 4 to 6 years

Booster Cushion
Group 3 for children weighing 22-36kgs (48-79lbs), roughly from age 6 to 11 years

It is always safer to put Group 0 and Group 0+ car seat in the rear and placed it rearwards facing to provide higher protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine. NEVER place a car seat in the front passenger seat if there is a passenger airbag.

It is also common now to find some child restraints or car seats that are capable of being converted as the child grows and hence, fit into more than one group. The Chicco Proxima for example, can cater babies from newborn (Group 0) to 18kg (Group 1).

So, if you are shopping or thinking of upgrading your child’s car seat, I hope that this basic information will be of help. Remember, SAFETY FIRST!


Adrine said...

I also got similar info when I surfed the web for car seats.

However, I was at Baby Jaya recently and was advised not to get Group 1 for Elyssa as she's already 9+ kg. He said that most Asian babies reach the 18 kg limit by about 2+ years old. He suggested the next group instead. (which can be used 9kg - 25kg)

I placed Elyssa on some seats in that group but she looked so small in it. I'm still undecided.(and confused!) She can still use her baby seat for now I need to get her a new seat soon.

Kristie said...

thanks for the tip daddy!

Bryan and Brandon's Mama said...

Good on you! I'm also a huge advocate of kiddos being restraint in the appropriate car seat. I even force my kids in even when they kick, scream and cry. Better that than a dead one!

LittleLamb said...

my younger sis had kids first. so when she first came back to visit, she was very strict that we put a baby car seat for her. u know western countries, these are very important measures. so with her early education on car seat to me, i didnt think twice n went ahead to buy a good one for Philip. :)

little prince's mummy said...

I hv group 0 and group 1 now..

vickylow said...

I have Group 0 and 1 too. I don't think I would buy for further group. Maybe just fasten the seat belt and let the kid sit at the back haha

cheeyee said...

I have Group1. When Lynn outgrow with it, we just put her sit at the back with seat belt fastened. While Hao is using the old car seat previously used by Lynn.

Creative B Bee said...

I have Group 0, 1 and 3. My experience about the group 1 while you fixed it to the car you will know the seat is too high for your kid sitting on it.Between my sons complained the lock infront(sitting part) was too tight make it not confortable. (all these car seat in my store room now....).My boys are too big to use it, my girl

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