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Car Seats for your Children

By marian on August 8th, 2016

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child seat safety
Eli Meir Kaplan for Home Front Communications National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

One of the most important jobs of a parent is keeping his or her child safe especially when riding in a vehicle. One of the ways to keep them safe is the proper usage of car seats. However, there are many different seats on the market, which can overwhelm and confuse parents. The type of seat your child needs depends on several things like your child’s age and the size and type of your vehicle. Here are some tips on keeping your child safe in your Toyota Fortuner in the Philippines:

For Infants and Toddlers:

  • Rear-facing only
  • Rear-facing convertible

All toddlers should sit on a rear-facing seat until they are 2 years of age or have reached the highest height and weight allowed by the car seat.

Toddlers and Preschoolers:

  • Convertible
  • Forward-facing with harness

Children who have outgrown the height and weight limit of the rear-facing seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness.

School-aged children:

  • Booster seats

All children whose height and weight exceeds the limit of the forward-facing seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat. Kids who are younger than 13 cannot ride at the front seat yet.

Older children:

  • Seat belts

When children are old enough and large enough for the vehicle seatbelt to fit them properly, they should always use lap and shoulder seatbelts for maximum protection.

Installation via the LATCH System

LATCH SYSTEM

Car seats may be installed with either the vehicle’s seat belt or LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system. LATCH is an attachment system for vehicles. The lower anchors can be used instead of the seatbelt to install LATCH while the top tether improves safety provided by the seat. This is important to use for all forward-facing seats. These systems are very safe and many parents find them very easy and practical to use.

Vehicles with the LATCH system have lower anchors at the back seat, where the seat cushions meet. The tether anchors are found behind the seat, depending on the type of the vehicle. If it is a sedan, the tethers are found at the back while in most minivans and SUVs, the tethers are located at the back of the seat, floor or ceiling. All lower anchors are rated for maximum of 65 pounds, the total weight of the seat and child. Parents must check the car seat manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight a child can be to use lower anchors.

When shopping for a car seat, it is important to keep in mind that no seat is the ‘best’ or ‘safest’ for all. The best seat is the one that properly fits your child’s size, is installed correctly, fits well in your car, and is used properly every time you drive. Never, ever decide on price alone. Just because the seat was priced higher does not mean its safety and ease of use are a guarantee. Never buy a car seat that looks too old, has visible cracks on it, does not come with instruction and has missing parts. These factors will only jeopardize your child’s safety. Keep these tips in mind and you will feel at ease knowing that your child is safe with you while you drive.

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