Winter holidays are almost here! There’s nothing more relaxing than getting away for a break. Most families with small children opt to use the car to go on holiday. When going on a longer trip, an important consideration is the safety and comfort of the youngest passengers. If they’re happy, everyone in the car will be happy. Maxi-Cosi has put together a few tips to help you prepare for a road trip with a minimum of stress.
If your child is almost ready to move to a next stage car seat, it’s worth checking whether you can switch to a larger car seat before the holiday to provide your child with more comfort and safety
• Children up to 7 years must use a car seat
Since November 2009, the law says that parents must use an approved car seat for their child up 7 years of age. From 7 years and older, children must use a child (booster) seat and be restrained with an adult car seat belt or child safety harness or when tall enough, a correctly fitted adult seat belt.
• Choose extra protection
Car seats that offer extra side protection are preferable, given that 25 percent of all collisions are side impact crashes. Also for older children (up to 8 years) Maxi-Cosi recommends a car seat fitted with AirProtect™. This innovative safety technology reduces the child’s chance of head injury by no less than 20 percent!
• Offer your child the same comfort as you would want for yourself
Driving long distances does not have to be a problem for your baby. It is said that babies should not spend more than two hours a day in a car seat. Consider this to be merely a guideline to prevent excessive daily use. Your child occasionally sitting in a car seat for longer periods of time, such as during a holiday road trip, has not proven to have any negative health effects. Of course it is good for your child - and yourself – to take frequent breaks. Make sure to remove your child from the car seat when taking a break so it can move freely.
Check the red Australian Standard Label 1754:2010.
When buying a car seat, always make sure it complies with the most recent Australian safety requirements. This can usually be identified by the red 1754:2010 certification label. This label indicates that the seat meets the highest safety standards.
• Bring your car when buying a car seat
When buying a car seat, always have the sales staff inform you in detail about how to install, use and care for the car seat. Bring your car to the shop when buying a car seat to make sure the seat can be properly installed. Also check whether the new seat can be installed along with any other car seats you may have in use already. It is important that the seat be installed as securely as possible and that the buckle is easily accessible.
Check for correct installation! Studies have shown that no fewer than 70% to 80% of parents with young children install their car seat incorrectly.
Check to make sure the harness on the car seat can be opened, fastened and adjusted easily before setting off. Car seats for babies (up to approx. 6 months) must be placed in a rear-facing position. Incorrect installation usually applies to how the seat is secured in the car. The seat must be installed securely to be safe. Make sure the harness and car seat belts are tightened securely and not twisted and that the buckle is not jammed.