Parents, rejoice! The Senate of the Philippines has unanimously approved the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, which makes the use of child restraint systems (CRS) in private cars mandatory for children aged 12 and below. This Bill also requires the CRS used in the country to comply with recognized international standards, which is how it’s supposed to be in the first place. The best thing about it is it gives the Department of Transportation (DOTr) the authority to issue regulations that require child safety measures in public utility vehicles. Expect this bill to be fully enforceable as law in the next six months.
Aside from the use of CRS, below are a few measures you can take to ensure the safety of children, and every other passenger, in your car.
Look before you lock
NEVER LEAVE A CHILD ALONE INSIDE YOUR CAR. Even if you’re just going to take a few minutes, take the child with you. Leaving a child in your car on any day, even for a short period, can be fatal. Heat stroke is the number one cause for concern in such a case; children are more prone to heat-related problems than adults because they’re easily dehydrated. Plus, you can’t say what other accident can happen, so it’s best to just err on the side of caution and take the child or children along when you leave your car.
Children should never be seated in the front seat
Although it may seem harmless, the front seat can be a dangerous place for children when traveling. Airbags are designed to support a 140-lb. adult wearing a seatbelt, which means they can cause serious injury to children because they are much smaller and lighter.
Smaller children also have the tendency to move around and not sit properly during travel; if their body is positioned within the deployment zone of the airbag during an accident, even a minor collision can prove fatal. Children below seven should always be seated in the back; if they must sit in the front, use an approved booster seat to avoid any untoward incidents.
When traveling with children, especially those seven years old and below, you must have a CRS installed in your car. Children seven years and above can use the seatbelts in the backseat, but only if they’re big enough to safely wear them. This means that the first step to ensuring child safety in the car is choosing the right type of CRS. Below are GoBear’s recommendations on choosing the appropriate system for you.
- Children six months old and below must use an approved rearward-facing CRS
- Children six months old up to seven years of age can use either a rearward-facing or forward-facing CRS
- Children between four and seven years old must use a forward-facing CRS or booster seat
- Children between seven and 16 years old must use a booster seat with a properly fastened lap or sash seatbelt or child-safety harness
When driving, your primary concern should be safety—always. When driving with children in tow, this becomes all the more important. Investing in a good car insurance plan is also a must if you want to protect yourself from the inconveniences of road accidents and other mishaps. Compare car insurance plans with GoBear today on gobear.com/ph/car-insurance and see which one is ideal for you and your passengers.