One of the hassles of being a parent who spends a large amount of time inside and around cars, is the realisation that car seats and seat belts are designed for adults and not children. This means having to choose between actually taking your child and risking it, or leaving the little fella at home. Up until now there was not much in the form of options. As India evolves and we slowly gain a consciousness of the risk that entails travelling on Indian road more manufacturers are focusing on safety and the very unaddressed issue of child safety, explaining why we decided to try out the first product that we came across. The product in question is the Chicco Gro Up Car seat, which is designed such that the same seat can be used with small modifications, from the time the child is born till adolescents.
This is one of things that stood out on the Chicco Gro-Up considering that Car seats for children are in no way cheap, the GRO UP retails for Rs 19,990. As i said, not cheap but considering the fact that you can’t put a price on your child’s well-being the price seems less daunting. Moreover, its a one time buy, the same seat with only small modifications is slated to work for everything from Toddlers to adolescent children. Chicco have gone the extra mile with the GRO UP, considering that they are pre-approved for type and safety under European Norms. Osservatorio Chicco (the baby research centre) collaborates with experts and parents to understand the needs of the baby and develop products accordingly. The car seats are designed according to ECE R44/04 (The European safety standard).
One of the major problems on the Chicco car seat is the fact that it is needlessly complex to use. We advise, that you take a detailed look at a youtube video before you try to fit it in yourself. Although this is a one time learning curve and from then on it’s just a small variation from being placed in front or even in the third row of seats. A family weekend getaway had us put the car seat to test, at 8 years old the child in question fits squarely in the centre of the spectrum that Chicco specifies. Needless to say that once firmly nestled in the car seat, there was not a peep out of the child who slept throughout. A testament to the fact that the seat was comfortable.
The GRO UP also benefits from washable covers, which are easy to remove and replace, aside from being one of the few cars seats on the market to have adjustable recline. The seat provided ample thigh support and lumbar support so much so that even as the road got slightly tougher, the child was neither shaken about or even woken up.
Now, overall, since we don’t have a lot to compare the Chicco seat to, we think it is a brilliant product. Most of the safety regulations check out, the seat is comfortable and modular. Which makes the slightly expensive retail price seem quite reasonable. We think that child car seats need to become reality in India and soon.