Time and again we have heard the importance of transporting your children in a car seat. Since the 1st May 2015, the law states that parents who don’t strap their children under the age of three in a car seat will be fined.
With so many options out there, how do you know which car seat is the right one for your child? Below are some questions you need to ask the next time you purchase a car seat.
- Is it Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) certified?
Similar to consumer products that receive SABS certification before they can be sold in South Africa, car seats must have a similar stamp of approval. Car seats subscribe to European regulations and have to be certified by Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).
Seats that are not certified by ECE aren’t legal in South Africa, even if they are approved by American or Australian authorities. The reason for this is that their design and safety requirements differ to those of the ECE. A list of ECE certified car seats can be found on the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) website.
- What is the right size car seat for my child?
There is a selection of baby seats available that cater for different weight thresholds:
- Reclining baby seats (0-10 kg)
- Toddler seats (9-18kg)
- Booster seats (15-25kg)
- Bum-booster seats (22-36kg)
Rear-facing seats are recommended for new-born babies up to 18kg. A rear-facing seat offers the best protection on impact. The baby’s full body weight is supported by the seatback rather than relying on harnesses to restrain the body.
- Where is the best place to position the car seat in your vehicle?
The safest place for your car seat and baby is the left-rear passenger seat. In South Africa, hijackings are a reality and if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, this position allows you to turn around and remove the baby from the car seat as quickly as possible before being forced out of the vehicle.
It is recommended that your child be restrained at all times in a good quality seat, which is suitable for their weight range, for as long as reasonably possible – and thereafter they should always wear a seatbelt.
With Matrix, you will always be kept up to date with the latest news and information. We care about the safety of you and your family. Matrix is always right by your side.