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  • What Happens To The Car Seat You Already Have Now That There's Child Car Seat Law

    Many parents are asking whether they can still use the car seat they bought before the law was passed.
    by Kitty Elicay .
What Happens To The Car Seat You Already Have Now That There's Child Car Seat Law
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Natee K Jindakum
  • The full implementation of Republic Act No. 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act has been deferred amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    But the law is here to stay, and parents should start preparing themselves — and their kids — for the new normal of driving with car seats installed in their automobiles.

    The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act covers all private vehicles and all children 12 years of age and below, with a few exemptions under very specific circumstances. (Read about it here.)

    According to the law, all children ages 12 years old and below and under 4’11” in height should be secured on a CRS or Child Restraint System. The car seat should also be “appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight.”

    On our parenting community Smart Parenting Village, a persistent question asked by moms and dads is whether the car seat they bought before the law was passed can still be used. After all, car seats don’t come cheap. (Find options for your baby here.)

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    Can my child use the car seat we bought before the law was passed?

    Yes, but it must meet certain requirements. In its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), the law states that any person who intends to use a CSR that was bought before the transitory period “shall secure a clearance from the LTO (Land Transportation Office) or the nearest regional office.”

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    We still need to wait for further guidelines on how to secure a clearance, especially with the pandemic, for your existing car seat.

    The information we have so far is based on the IRR. It says your car seat will need to be inspected and must meet the following requirements:

    Car seat should not be expired.

    Car seats without expiration dates should meet product safety standards set by the Bureau of Philippine Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-BPS).

    These standards comply with the United Nations Regulation No.44 and United Nations Regulation No. 129. The DTI-BPS will periodically update these standards based on current UN regulations.

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    The car seat should not show any of the following indicators upon inspection:

    • A cracked or damaged plastic shell and/or metal components
    • A frayed harness or tether strap, or broken stitching along the harness or tether strap
    • A twisted, torn, or abraded webbing strap
    • A quick release buckle that does not engage or disengage smoothly
    • One or more missing parts
    • Other substantial damage visible to the eye

    Will the government issue a list of approved car seat brands?

    According to the IRR, “all manufacturers, importers, distributors, and sellers of child restraint systems, are required to secure from the DTI-BPS a PS Mark License or ICC Certificate prior to the marketing, sale, and distribution of their products.”

    Approved car seats that comply with safety standards must have a PS Mark or ICC sticker. (Read more about it here.) 

    It is unclear whether the ICC certificate has been issued to distributors. According to one mom in our Village who inquired with one of the popular car seat brands in the country, the ICC stickers have not been released.

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    If you’re still unsure of what car seat brand to get, the IRR states that the DTI-BPS “shall periodically issue a list of child restraint system brands and models that meet the technical regulation set by the DTI-BPS, and the manufacturers, importers, and distributors of these child restraint systems.” This will be published in a newspaper with general circulation and on the DTI website.

    Read the full IRR, posted by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in February 2020, below:

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    Car seats are non-negotiables when it comes to the safety of your child. Click here to read why.

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