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Thread: The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

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    Lightbulb The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

    Without an iota of doubt, I can speak for all when I say that our kids are the most precious possessions! And yet, I don't think we Indians, knowingly or unknowingly, really care for their safety in our cars. Come to think of it, our kids don't even get a proper seat at times when the cars are loaded with 5 passengers (or more). We conveniently take it for granted that our kids will travel happily in the lap of one of the passengers without complaining much. Imagine doing that for hours on end without proper back support. Forget that, imagine yourself sitting as a middle passenger in the back seat without proper back support or elbow room. I guarantee you that you won't come out very happy after a 4-5 hour journey. So imagine the poor kids having no back support at all, and then we complain that they get cranky after a couple of hours in the cars!

    Having used car seats for my child since he was born, I have realised that this wonderful invention is a life saviour, quite literally actually. It is safe for kids to travel in their own dedicated space in the car where they can be safely strapped in so that in the case of an eventuality, the probability of grievous injuries or even fatalities is mitigated to a large extent. Also, as mentioned earlier, it is so comfortable that they can doze off without a worry and have side bolstering of the child seat to provide some support. Trust me, if they get this habit of sitting in their own seat, they wont sit elsewhere. Conversely, if they aren't used to it since they are tiny tots, its difficult to restrain them in one place. Also, because the height of the child seat makes them sit higher, they enjoy looking out of the window and don't get bored as fast.

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    To be continued..
    Last edited by roms; 28-11-2017 at 04:17 PM.
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    Re: The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

    So where should we fasten the child seat? Not in the front passenger seat..no Sir! Most of our cars have airbags nowadays and these are supposed to deploy and restrain the passenger from hitting the dashboard / windscreen and they work in conjunction with seat belts. The airbags deploy with a considerable force when a collision occurs and are designed to come in touch with the chest and head of the passenger. However, they aren't designed keeping in mind the fragile heads of toddlers / babies and can cause injuries instead of protecting them. Even if you don't have child seats installed in your car, the front passenger seats are the worst place for your kids. Its a common sight to see children sitting on the lap of the front passenger and that's a very dangerous situation to be in, especially if the car is equipped with airbags.

    The rear middle seat only comes with a lap belt and a child seat cannot be installed there. So its preferable to have them installed on either the right or left rear seat. I prefer it installed on the right rear side (behind the driver) as it gives access to passengers from the left door, where they can climb in or out from a pavement. Its much safer that way.

    If there are two passengers getting in the back seat, they will invariably complain of lack of space as the width of a child seat will eat into their space. Well, that is a compromise you have to make in order to keep your child safe and although squeezing in two adults will be fine for shorter distances, your car more or less becomes a four seater for a long drive..have to live with that

    So how do we fix these car seats? Its not uncommon to see cars abroad with ISOFIX anchor points in the back seat to install child seats. In India too, some cars are now coming with them installed. But you want to make use of ISOFIX anchor points, you need to buy child seats that are compliant to these anchors and such child seats come with ISOFIX connectors that plug into the anchors. Basically, ISOFIX tethers down the child seat to make it more secure and there are typically a pair of anchor points each on the bottom of the left and right rear seats. Some cars have addtional anchors on top as well. This is how the ISOFIX connectors and anchors look like:

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    Last edited by roms; 28-11-2017 at 04:46 PM.
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    Re: The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

    Unfortunately, not many cars come with these ISOFIX anchor points in India. So even if we dont have them in our cars, there is a way to fix these child seats.


    The car's seat belt is used to secure the child seat in this scenario. There is space provided to glide the seat belt under the child seat so it can go across to the other side and be fastened. Child seats usually come with their own safety belts to secure kids. Most come with 3 point safety belts that can be adjusted according to the size and weight of the baby's body.

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    There are different kids of child seats depending on the size and age of the baby / infant. A rearward facing child seat is to be used for babies upto the age of 12-15 months or for babies upto 10-12 kgs. The rearward facing keeps them more secure than a front facing seat.

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    The front facing child seat come in sizes for infants aged 1-11 years or for 9-36 kgs.

    The third kind are the booster seats which are to be used once the kids can sufficiently make use of the car's own seat belts but need to sit higher as the seat belt would come across their face uncomfortably.

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    There are lot of combination of seats available at different price points, depending on brands and features. Some come equipped with cup holders, others have the ability to separate so that the child seat can be split into two and the lower half becomes a useful booster seat once the kid grows, thereby increasing the useful life of the child seat.

    I earlier used a front facing child seat that costed around 8k and because the Palio never came with any ISOFIX anchors, I used the car's seat belts to fix the seat. The child seat was ISOFIX compliant however. I have currently installed a booster seat for my 6 year old boy and he loves sitting in it as it helps him use the car's seat belt effectively and gives him a good view because of the increased height. Will post a pic of the booster seat installed. It costed around 1.1k only and I got it from Amazon.

    So that's a start to this conversation. We car enthusiasts talk about all things automotive except for something like this that needs much attention. Hoping that more of us become aware of how we are supposed to drive along with our kids safely and securely. Owning a safe car is one thing, having the will and heart to keep our loved ones safe is another, but to actually put it to practice is what separates us from the ignorant road users

    Please let your comments and suggestions flow....
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    Re: The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

    Here's a picture of the booster seat installed in my Rapid at the moment. This one is compact and easy to carry around. I also bought a soft cushion that slides within the seat belt and it is useful in case he dozes off. Cost was 399/-. Another useful addition is the seat belt adjuster (the lower red attachment). This guides the seat belt into the adjuster first so that the top belt does not go across the child's neck and goes down from their shoulder. It is useful if the kids get irritated with the top belt coming on their neck in case they aren't yet tall enough. Costed only 299/-.

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    Last edited by roms; 29-11-2017 at 09:57 AM.
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    The Czech/German - 2012 Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 MPI Automatic
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    Re: The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

    Excellent informative thread on child safety seats

    All of Europe and other global countries follow strict rules and having child seats is one of them. We Indians are brought up in a culture where we enjoy breaking rules and rules are only supposed to be in the book. Its rare to see anyone using child seats because 1) Lack of awareness and 2) Expensive and 3) Why waste a seat for it, kid can sit on the lap to make space for one more person

    That said so, i'm one of them. Never used one. However i did made sure on long highway trips to have wife sit behind when my kid was 5 years and below.

    Roms, I never knew about this booster seats. Past few years when my kid used to sit in front, she use to put the seat belts but due to the height the shoulder belt was kept behind the head. We indians love to do jugaad in anything we face

    I hope the Government makes traffic rules very stringent and that will automatically also impact people using Child seats more often as in other countries its by law to use Child seats for certain number of age of the kids.
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    Re: The importance of Child Safety seats in Cars!

    Thanks Roms for bringing up this topic! For many days (4.5 years to be precise).. I have pondered about buying one for my boy but could never decide upon what to buy. I will now do so immediately. Coincidentally only a few days ago I was mentioning to my son that I will buy a child seat for him to be seated all times; this was prompted by my insecurity I felt during a highway drive (more on that in another thread).

    Hope more of us will join the bandwagon of Childseat users.

    Edit: ORDERED!
    Last edited by Vijethcm; 03-12-2017 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Added Info
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