Child safety seats (sometimes referred to as an infant safety seat, a child restraint system, a restraining car seat, or ambiguously as car seats) are seats designed specifically to protect children from injury or death during collisions.
Car crash impact almost always leads to injury or death in children. This is because most children are not properly restrained in car seats which could have prevented many of those incidences.
The majority’s assumption is that most of these tragedies resulted from high-speed collisions; the truth is that a high percent of car accidents involving children happen on streets where the speed limit is 50 Kmph or less.
So if you own a car, this is one piece of baby gear you should plan to purchase long before your water breaks; it doesn’t make sense to buckle up as an adult driver and gamble on your child’s safety. It is wise to start shopping for a car seat around your sixth to eighth month of pregnancy. That should give you plenty of time to select the right seat.
The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s age and size and the type of vehicle you have.
There are three basic types of car seats to choose from:
1.Baby (or infant-only) car seats: These should always face the rear of the car. They have a weight limit of between 9 and 15 kilograms. When your baby reaches the weight or height limits for his infant seat, move him to a rear-facing convertible car seat.
2.Convertible (or infant-toddler) car seats: These function as both rear-facing seats for babies and toddlers and forward-facing seats for older children. Many new ones are designed to hold a child of up to 18 kilograms rear-facing and up to 31 kilograms forward-facing. It’s safest to leave your child rear-facing as long as possible – in fact, the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2, or until he reaches the seat’s maximum rear-facing height and weight limits. (Food for thought to Kenya’s NTSA about reinforcing local regulations).
3.Belt-positioning booster seats: These seats are for kids who are at least 4 and weigh at least 18 kilograms. They use the regular car lap and shoulder belts to secure the child. Backless boosters are fine when used with an automobile seat that provides head support.
To get more details about choosing a car seat locally, you will find great information from the following resources:
1. Uncle Bob’s Strollers and Car Seats; one of Kenya’s leading safety experts on car seats onhttp://unclebobs.co.ke/
2. Deacons Baby Shop branches at The Junction, Sarit Centre and TRM shopping malls.http://www.deacons.co.ke/babyshop/