When taking your little one on a car ride, be sure to buckle him up right.
Whether you’re just driving to the shop around the corner or across the causeway for a road trip, one thing’s for certain, you need to strap on that seat belt and buckle up. And it isn’t just encouraged. As of January last year, the Singapore Traffic Police introduced changes to the seat belt rule to curb the rising number of accidents.
According to the Traffic Police, individuals 1.35 metres and above in height are required to use adult seat belts. Your little ones, however small they may be, aren’t exempted from buckling up either. Information on www.police.gov.sg states that: “All persons travelling in vehicles, irrespective of their age, should be appropriately belted up. Adults below the height of 1.35m shall use booster seats or approved adjustable seat belts to lower the risk of injury in the event of an accident.”
Babies on the other hand will need an infant seat. Booster seats just won’t do.
Know What’s Right
Getting your child a booster seat may be easy enough but what exactly do you need to know when it comes to purchasing one? With the various types of seats that fill the stores, how do you know what’s right for your child?
When shopping for a child restraint, look for one that is
appropriate for your child’s height and weight.
If you’re expecting, don’t wait till the last minute either. Your baby needs to be placed safely in the car seat before you head home from the hospital.
Before making a decision, here are the choices you have.
These car seats should always be facing the rear of the car. Some even offer the option of being able to attach to your pram for that added touch of convenience. No one wants to unbuckle a sleeping baby just to transfer him from car seat to pram or vice versa. But remember, with infant car seats, you will need to change up to a rear-facing convertible car seat once your bub reaches the weight or height limit.
Ideal for babies, toddlers and the older ones, these car seats are a popular among many. But before you strap your little one in, know that babies and toddlers need to be rear-facing while older kids may face forward. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age two, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. So don’t be too fast in turning your baby around to enjoy the view upfront.
Because car seatbelts are designed with adults in mind, it doesn’t hold your child securely in an accident. That’s what booster seats are for. Available with a back and without, these types of seats boosts your child up and secure him using the car lap and shoulder seat belts. Deciding which is right for you depend on your child’s height and size.
Follow the Instructions
First things first…be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your car seat to ensure you’ve installed it correctly. Make sure seat belts are through the right slots and positioned where it’s supposed to be. Also be sure that the car seat is tightly secured. Give it a wiggle. It shouldn’t move more than an inch forward or side to side.
Some car seats offer the option of a base unit that can be installed in the car.
This allows you to snap your car seat back into place without the hassle of dealing
with the seat belts every time you want to get your baby in or out of the car.
Taking a Cab
Not to worry if you’re taking a cab with your baby and you don’t have a car seat on hand. According to the Traffic Police, taxis are exempted from child safety seat requirements as it would not be practical for a cab to carry various child seats for their passengers.
But do take precaution when travelling with your little ones. The Traffic Police states that a child or person below 1.35 metres should only ride in the rear seat to minimise the risk of injury in the event of an accident. If your child is riding up front, he will need to be secured to a child or booster seat.
Booking a Private Car
When booking a private hire car, be sure to have your own car seat or booster seat, or choose the child-friendly ride option that’s available when you use Uber and Grab. However, at this moment, both private hire car companies do not have car seats for babies so plan your travel right and get to your destination safely.
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