WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO? WHICH SEAT SHOULD YOU GET?
NOT ALL CARS COME WITH ISOFIX. IF YOURS DOESN’T, FOLLOW THESE TIPS FROM MASTERDRIVE AND WHEELWELL.CO.ZA
›› Car seats must be installed with a three-point seat belt, unless they are designed for a lap belt-only installation.
›› Make sure the seat has good side-impact protection to protect your child’s head and neck.
›› Always install the seat as per the directions in the manual.
›› Never use a car seat where there are airbags. These deploy at up to 350 km/h and can be fatal.
›› Children under the age of 13 should always ride on the back seat.
›› Keep your child in the correct seat for as long as possible, but no longer; it’s potentially dangerous to keep your child in a car seat that they have outgrown. A child is too big for their car seat when they have reached the upper weight margin, or if their shoulder is higher than the highest belt adjustment of the seat. ›› Harness belts must not be twisted. ›› The shoulder straps of the harness must never go over, or below, the shoulder. At shoulder height, or slightly above, is good.
›› When tightening the harness, you must be able to fit your hand between the child’s tummy and the buckle.
A car seat has an ID in the form of an orange sticker. On this sticker, which must be present in order for the seat to have been certified and therefore be legal, is all the information you require to make the best decision. By law, all car seats must have installation guides on them as well. Furthermore, a blue indicator on the seat means it should be installed rear-facing and the sticker will show how long a kid can sit in the seat before they’ve outgrown it and you need to upgrade to a higher weight grading, or buy a front-facing one. The weight categories are normally 9, 13, 18 and even 25 kg, and the seat would have been tested for that weight range. Use the seat in the rear-facing position up to the upper limit before switching to a forward-facing unit. Red indicates forward-facing guidelines for the seat. The minimum weight given is to accommodate tall, skinny kids who have outgrown the previous group seat in length, but not weight. Again, use the car seat only up to the limit for which it’s designed.