With the use of child car seats becoming mandatory from January 2020, it is expected that many will now be shopping around for these safety devices. To aid consumers in the selection process, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has released a “Guideline for Child Safety Seats in Malaysia.”

The guideline, which is available for download at MIROS’ website, was announced on October 23. As stated in the document, MIROS will issue a QR code label for child car seats sold in the country that have undergone the component type approval (CTA) process with the road transport department (JPJ).

The QR code label will provide buyers with detailed information on the product and relevant ratings, and is not an additional certification. It will however enable the ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) to monitor child safety seats sold in the country, either on site at premises or online.

The agency said via a statement that it welcomes cooperation with all e-commerce platforms, companies manufacturers and distributors to understand the process of preparing the documentation that is required to obtain the CTA from the JPJ as well as the QR code label.

It added that all child safety seat products that are used in Malaysia must comply with the rules and certification under United Nations Regulation (UNR) rules ECE R44/04 and ECE R129, the safety standards car child seats are rated against.

The ECE R44 classification is based on a child’s weight, while the newer ECE R129 – also known as i-Size – is based on a child’s height in centimetres. Introduced in July 2013, the new regulation is intended to ensure better compatibility and make seats easier to fit, provide better protection from side impact crashes and keep children rearward-facing for a longer period.

While the transport ministry has said that enforcement of their use will not begin straight away, with drivers not being penalised for the first six months when the ruling comes into effect in January, motorists shouldn’t adopt a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to matters of safety.

The importance of using child seats cannot be overemphasised, and under no condition should a child (or any individual for that matter) ever be left unsecured in a moving vehicle.