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Child safety considerations when buying a car

Child safety considerations when buying a car

You’re having a baby (or another baby, or another couple of babies)! Once you’ve decorated the nursery, shortlisted some names and picked the pram, it’s time to consider the car.

Once you have a family, the urge to want to protect them and keep them safe comes naturally. We all know the roads can be dangerous, so with your child’s safety in mind, here are a few things to consider when shopping for a family car.

  • The back seat – how many baby capsules or children’s seats can you fit across the back seat? Is there enough room there for you to fit them in there without having your own legs crushed up under the dash
     
  • Anchor points – how many seat anchor points are there? Where are they positioned? An anchor point on the boot lip will use up some boot space, whereas one on the back of the rear seat will not. 
     
  • Rear window – what is the configuration of the rear window? Is it housed in a sloping hatchback? This puts any baby in a rear-facing capsule in direct sunlight. If unavoidable, rear air-conditioning vents can help to keep them comfortable despite the sun, and there are after-market sunshades you can attached to the rear windows.
     
  • Boot space – boot space is super important when you have a family. You need to be able to fit the pram, a nappy bag and the shopping at a minimum. You also need the mouth of the boot to be wide enough to fit the pram in without having to dismantle any part of the boot.
     
  •  Doors – it’s best if the car doors open wide enough to get a baby capsule (or toddler) in and out without a struggle.
     
  • Safety – safety ratings are important. ANCAP is an independent rating system for the Australasian car market that conducts occupant and pedestrian protection provided by different new car models, in the most common types of crashes.

Keeping these things in mind when selecting a family car can make an enormous difference to your day-to-day experience. There are choices that can make everything a bit of a struggle, and there are choices that can make your life much easier. Keep this checklist in your pocket when looking at different models.