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Dear Parents, Here's Your Child Car Seat Guide in Malaysia

Updated 24 Jun 2020 – By Helena Varkkey


Did you know that around 15% of all road accident deaths in Malaysia are children? 

With these worrying statistics in mind, the Malaysian government passed a new ruling in January 2020 that makes it compulsory for all children below 135cm tall to be strapped into an approved child restraint system (CRS)

There is a six-month grace period, but after that, anyone found guilty will have to cough up a fine of up to RM2,000 or be locked away for up to a year. This grace period will expire in July 2020, which is just around the corner, gaiz. 

While some of you advanced people are like, “oh, my kids have been using car seats for years!”, this may not be the case for everyone. 

If you fall into the latter category (we don’t judge), you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. Biasalah, benda baru, siapa tak gelabah. 

Well, sit down, buckle up, and let Loanstreet take you on a journey to child car safety!

 

Why so susah one? Use normal seatbelt cannot meh?



Caaaaaaan. If you want your kid to die from massive internal bleeding!

We’re serious. Regular seatbelts are designed for adults with adult-sized bodies. Why don’t you go strap your kid into a regular old seatbelt? Go ahead, we’ll wait. 


Does your little munchkin look comfortable? Does the shoulder strap rest nicely across the poor child’s chest and shoulder? Does the lap belt sit flat on the kiddo’s thighs instead of the stomach? 


No? We thought so. 


Of course lah, in the event of an accident, a kid wearing a regular seatbelt may be better protected than one who is not strapped in at all. BUT, kids can suffer serious internal injuries (including broken ribs!) when belts cut into their stomach or chest on impact. They can also choke and suffer neck injuries if their neck is caught by the shoulder strap. 

 

But, there are so many types lah! So confusing!

Okay, breathe. It’s not all that complicated. It’s so uncomplicated that we could fit everything you need to know in this simple little chart below:
 
Weight Height Estimated Age Category Type of Seat
Below 9kg, recommended until 13kg Below 83cm 0 to 18 months Group 0/0+
Rear-facing infant car seat
Between 9kg and 18kg Minimum 71cm 15 months to 4 years Group 1 Forward-facing infant car-seat
Between 15kg and 25kg Minimum 100cm 4 to 7 years Group 2 Booster seat with a five-point harness
Between 25kg and 36kg Up to 135cm
6 years to around 12 years
Group 3 Booster seat (used with regular seatbelt)

Basically, up till Group 2, your child needs a five-point harness, macam F1 driver gitu. This is so that any impact is distributed evenly across their body. 



Beyond that, you can use a booster seat with your regular seatbelt. It works by boosting your child up higher, so that the belt is positioned correctly. 

And remember is that age ain’t nothing but a number! Refer to your child’s weight (first) and height when deciding which type of restraint is right for them. 

 

Aiyo, so mahal lah. How can afford?

Yeah, we know, all those fancy branded car seats can go up to the thousands, right?

But ada je yang murah. Lai lai, support Malaysian brands! You can get good Group 0 to 2 seats from RM200 onwards, while Group 3 booster seats can go for less than RM100!

Whatever you buy though, just be sure to check if the seat meets approved safety standards (MIROS has a handy list here). For Malaysia, all child restraints need to comply with either United Nations Regulation No. 44 (ECE R44/04) or No. 129 (ECE R129). 

They should have labels like this:


A QR code on the label will bring you to a website which will teach you how to use the car seat properly and safely. Bagus, kan?
 

My car so small, can fit meh?

All cars are designed so that two or three reasonably sized child restraints can be installed in the rear seat. Pandai-pandai lah: if you have a compact car, don’t choose a bulky car seat! 



And here’s a pro tip, so pay attention. 

Most car seats are tethered using the car’s regular seatbelt. But be warned, nothing is harder than trying to thread a seatbelt through a child restraint correctly in the hot and humid Malaysian weather. 

Newer cars might have an ISOFIX system built into their rear seats. If your car does, you’re in luck! Look out for car seats which are ISOFIX or LATCH compatible, so all you need to do is slide or click the seat into place. This is especially handy for cars with cramped rear seats – your back will thank you!
But of course, such seats come with a price la. ISOFIX compatible seats usually sell for RM400 and above and above. 
 

But, but, but…

Sigh, we know, still got a lot of excuses, right? 



Well here’s a rundown of our responses to some common ‘buts’, which should shut them down real quick:
  • But, I have so many children! If you need to install an additional restraint on your front seat, you can. You’ll just need to disable your front passenger airbag first. If you have more than three kids below 135cm in height, you’re exempted from the ruling
  • But, I’m a Grab driver! Relax, this ruling only applies to private vehicles. E-hailing drivers with a public service vehicle (PSV) license are exempt – for now!
  • But, I’m using a hand-me-down! You can still use an older car seat without the new safety standard label, as long as it’s up to standard and is not damaged. 
  • But, my kid hates being strapped in! Bottom line is, a cranky kid is always better than a dead one. And they’ll get used to it eventually. 
Any more objections? No? Good. 

Other than that, if you want to purchase/renew your car or motorcycle's road tax and insurance, you can do here via Loanstreet. It'll just take 5 minutes of your time!

Till then, drive safe!

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