Strap Your Little Ones In! Car Seats Should Be a Must, Not a Maybe

We love our children and would never want anything to happen to them, yet here in Thailand, we still boast relatively low awareness towards car seat safety. Thankfully this may change soon as the issue becomes more visible with governments in the region beginning to implement laws regulating the use of child restraint systems. Recently in the Philippines, the government passed a law requiring the use of child restraint systems at all times for children 12 years and younger, while also forbidding those under the age of 12, or under 1.5 meters in height, from sitting in the front passenger seat.

 

Thai roads are the most dangerous in Southeast Asia; road accidents are the leading cause of death in children aged 5 to 14 in Thailand. Over the years, we’ve taken measures to try and solve this; helmets have long been mandated by law for both drivers and passengers, but as more and more families make the switch from motorcycle to car, it’s important that we learn all we can about how we can transport our children safely in vehicles.

 

Child restraints can help reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash by about 70 percent among infants and between 50 percent to 80 percent among young children, “but only if they are properly installed and appropriate to the make and model of your car,” cautions local Ford spokesperson.

Most Ford vehicles feature standard Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), [1]compatible with many car seats, but parents should always double check that their car seat can be properly attached to the vehicle’s lower and top tether anchors. It’s important to take into account all the other vehicles this car seat may likely be used in as well.

 

If your retailer provides fitting services, take advantage of that, or contact a professional to ensure your car seat is properly installed. The number of car seats incorrectly installed around the world is sobering, even in countries well-informed on child and car safety. In the U.S., for example, 95 percent of infant car seats have at least one major installation error.[2]

 

Where, when and why

Rear-facing car seats are the safest way for infants and young children to travel in. Ford recommends that you keep your child in one until they have exceeded the highest weight or height allowed by your car seat manufacturer before transitioning to a forward-facing seat. There are also many convertible seats out in the market now, which can be used as a rear-facing and later, as a forward-facing car seat.

“Children shouldn’t ride in the front even when strapped into his or her car seat,” local Ford spokesperson reminds. “In an accident, an inflated air bag can hit your child in the face – or the back of a rear-facing car seat where your child’s head is – potentially causing serious injuries.”

 

Also take care to ensure the car seat is reclined at a correct angle so your child’s head isn’t flopping forward. Babies, in particular, need to be placed semi-reclined so that their airways are kept open. Bear in mind that you may need to readjust the seat as your child grows[3].

 

Once your child outgrows their car seat, it’s important to introduce a booster seat as, at that point, most children might still not be tall enough or weigh enough for an adult seat belt to fit snugly around them. Children must be about 1.5 meters – with the lap belt low on their hips and pelvis and the shoulder bet resting comfortably on the middle of their chest and shoulder – before a seat belt is appropriate[4].

 

Take note

Car seats have expiry dates so make sure you double check your manual. Parents should also make sure to replace any car seat that has been involved in an accident, even if it looks fine on the outside. This is also why parents are discouraged from reusing car seats for a second child or buying car seats second-hand unless they are well-informed of its history.

 

 

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 196,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

[1] “Child Safety Seat and Restraint Safety.” Ford, Accessed 25 Jun. 2019, https://owner.ford.com/support/how-tos/safety/seats/what-seat-can-my-child-use.html

[2] “5 Expert Tips on the Correct Way to Install a Child Car Seat.” Best Car Seat Hub, Accessed 25 Jun. 2019, https://bestcarseathub.com/blog/5-expert-tips-on-the-correct-way-to-install-a-child-car-seat/

[3] “Car seat safety: Avoid 9 common mistakes.” Mayo Clinic, Accessed 25 Jun. 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/car-seat-safety/art-20043939

[4] “Car seat safety: Avoid 9 common mistakes.” Mayo Clinic, Accessed 25 Jun. 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/car-seat-safety/art-20043939