A child car seat system: An extra expense to protect a life
MANILA, Philippines--There are pending bills in both the House of Representatives and the Senate which want to require the use of a child car seat system for infants and children when they ride on vehicles.
How much does a child car seat cost in the Philippines?
The World Health Organization (WHO) enumerates four different types and sizes of child car seats. Each type is for a specific age group and adjusts as a child grows and develops.
If passed into a law, children under age 1 will have to use at least 4 types of car seats until they turn 12 years old.
During a child car seats press conference last August 16, the issue of its affordability was raised. People were concerned about the value of buying child car seats to be used for only a few years.
Funded by the World Health Organization, researcher Dr. Adovich Rivera presented his study on the cost of child seats in the Philippines.
A survey of companies and prices indicated online from local distributors, showed the following:
- Rear-facing only - P3, 798.93 to P15,999.75.
- Booster seats - P1, 186.84 to P6,173.55
- Combination - P4, 273. 85 to P84,365
There was no available price for the front-facing car seats from local distributors.
Car seats can also be purchased in online stores. Here are the prices of brand-new products in online stores:
- Rear facing only - P1,299.75 to P32,999.75
- Front facing only - P1,600 to P15,990
- Booster seats - P2,999 to P8,999.75
- Combination - P599 to P24,999,75
Second-hand car seats are also available online for a much cheaper price.
- Front-facing only - P500 to P9,000
- Combination - P1,000 to P7,500
While the mandatory use of child car seats will be an added expense and cost, road safety advocates said there is no price tag too high to protect a child's life.
"I don't think any price would equate to a person's life. If you notice, almost everyone [in the country] owns a smart phone. It is almost the same price [with a car seat] but what is at stake here is the life of our children." Ateneo School of Government road safety manager Jason Salvador said.
"I think any family that can afford to purchase a car should be able to purchase a car safety seat. If you think about it, we do pay a little extra for the safety of our vehicles," said Sophia San Luis, a road safety advocate from Imagine Law.
San Luis said if we are able to invest by buying cars with safety technologies or purchasing insurance, we should give the same effort to ensure the safety of children.
"We have to realize that unlike adults, children rely on their parents or guardians for protection. They are incapable of protecting themselves and so it is our duty to provide them with that safety," she said.
Advocates of these bills also believe that "prevention is better than cure." The amount spent to buy a car seat will be far cheaper than the expenses you will incur in a car accident.
In another study funded by the Department of Health, Rivera estimates a total of P72.6 million was lost every day due to the number of road traffic incidents last 2014.
He cited how the direct and indirect costs incurred from road crashes totaled to P26.5 billion last 2014. Examples of the costs were the hospital bills, medical tests, operations, medicines and etc. – Rappler.com
In the Philippines, an average of more than 600 children died from road crash incidents from 2006 to 2015. Seat belts can save lives but infants and children need a more specific type of car seats for them in case of a road mishap.
Want to know more about child safety car seats? Here are some stories:
Learn more about Rappler's road safety campaign by visiting the #SaferRoadsPH microsite.