The Importance of Car Safety for Children

Car safety for children begins the moment you need to leave the hospital. While most mums in Kenya rely on taxis and public transport, it is important, when you have a car to get them safely seated in a car seat. The use of car seats is not popular in Kenya, but with growing awareness, many are now embracing it. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure your child is safe during every car ride. Using a car seat the right way provides the safety that your child needs. Let’s get into what you need to know about car safety seat.

About Car Safety Seats

You need to consider a few things before acquiring a car seat. The size, age, and developmental needs are important factors to have in mind. There are car seats available on the market for different ages and getting the right one can be confusing if you are not sure what to look for. Here is how to make the right choice.

  • Infants & Toddlers – get your baby a rear facing( This is a car seat is one that is positioned to have the baby facing towards the back of the car) only or a rear-facing convertible seat is . Before they are the right height or weight, all infants and toddlers should use a rear-facing seat. The majority of convertible seats allow children to ride facing backwards for more than 2 years.
  • Toddlers & Pre-school Babies – get your baby a convertible or forward facing  (this seat is positioned to have the child facing the front of the car) that has a harness. When they outgrow the rear-facing seat, children need to use this type of seat for as long as possible.
  • School-aged children – At this age, consider getting your child a booster seat. When they reach the specified height and weight your child should have a belt-positioning booster seat. This is at 4 feet 9 inches or between 8 to 12 years.
  • Older Children – Have your child use the car’s seat belts. By now you get the gist of outgrowing the previous recommendation. When your baby is old enough in height and size, have him/her use a lap and shoulder belt like adults.

The height and weight of the rear and forward-facing car seats depends on manufacturers. If your child has additional needs, like a physical disability or a medical condition, there might be exceptions to child restraint rules. Seek the help of occupational therapists to choose the best child restraint or modify a restraint for your child with a guide.

Car Safety Guides

It is important to note the following safety guidelines: 

  • All children under 13 years of age should ride in the back
  • Activate child-lock on your doors to prevent your child from opening the door mid-drive
  • Do not leave your baby inside a parked car with the windows locked (do not leave your child in the car alone)
  • Use the cars AC system as opposed to opening windows. 
  • Keep loose items locked away to prevent the risk of increasing injury in case of a crash
  • Always use the kerb side when getting your child out or into the car

Disclaimers:

#Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

#Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: healthychildren, parenting

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