Most parents love for their kids is demonstrated by keeping them in close proximity. So letting toddlers or older kids sleep with you or keeping them in your lap when outside is a fairly common sight - it's a demonstration of parental love and the proximity makes both child and parent feel more secure.
This need for proximity is also evident while traveling with children - it’s very common in India to see parents sitting with children in their lap in the car’s front seat so the child doesn’t have to sit alone in the back - either it’s the child who insists or throws a tantrum for the sitting in the front and or parents don't want them sitting in the back alone!
Unlike western countries, where the laws are very strict regarding car seats for children and heavy penalties for violations - parents & children are trained from the beginning that kids stay back in the car seat and adults in the front. And there are no exceptions.
Awareness around car seats & safety in Indian metro cities is on the higher side but still a large number of parents don’t install car seats for kids as they don’t grasp just how dangerous it is to let children sit in the front.
Did you know airbags can suffocate children?
Airbags are designed as per an adult’s weight & height and sometimes even in minor collisions, airbags do go off. The impact is strong enough to injure an adult so for a child it is massively powerful. It can cause suffocation, serious injuries to the face, chest, neck or head at and in rare cases, be fatal.
Even when no airbags are deployed, in a car crash, the child sitting in the lap of a parent is likely to be thrown at the windshield. Needless, to say no parent ever wants to risk a scenario like that.
Regardless of whether laws in India require you to, risking a child’s life on the road should be a complete no-no. Yes, children may find it annoying or cry about sitting in the front, but stick with it.
Safety much more important than a little crying & hurt feelings!
If your kids are under the age of 12/13, we urge you to use a car seat made for kids instead of using seat belts or making them sit on your laps. Yes, in spite of the absence of any law about it, it is crucial that every parent understands the importance of installing car seats.
Why You Should Opt For Cars Seats For Kids Rather Than Your Lap Or Seat Belt
As reported by NDTV, World Health Organization said that using a child car seat decreases the fatality rate by 70% in infants and 80% in kids. Also, they specifically stated that children aged less than 12 years are safer on the rear seat.
A specific study that analyzed the data on 7151 children who were involved in road accidents found that children made to sit on booster seats have half the injury risk of those strapped with seat belts.
Now that you know that a child car seat can ensure your child's safety, there should be no debate to whether or not you should get one!
So, lets help you choose the Right Car Seat!
Rear Facing Seats are designed for infants and newborns. Although it was believed that this seat works until the kid turns 1, most parents are advised to consider the baby’s height before switching to front facing seats.
Forward facing seats should be your pick after your child turns two. And as soon as your kid crossed 40 pounds, preferring booster seats over seat belts would be a wise thing to do.
Before you take the measurements, have you decided where will you install the child seat? You have three options, rear-left, rear-right, and rear-middle. As we are right wheelers, the proximity of rear-right side to the moving traffic is more which could be an unsafe factor. Rear-left is better than rear-right but rear-middle is the best! There’s no risk of moving vehicles in the middle and it would be much easier for you to access your kid. So, choose the side before you pick the seat!
Child Safety Trumps All!It's best to start getting children in this habit early so you'll face less reluctance. Also it's important to explain to the children what to expect - why they need to sit at the back and if you're the one driving, it's especially important to explain why they need to be calm and allow you to focus.