Baby's death is a sobering reminder about car seat safety
Her mum was driving the car while her father was carrying her in his arms...
Lim Hui Chee was simply driving home with her husband and their nine-month-old baby girl when tragedy struck. According to a report by the New Straits Times, their car crashed into another vehicle just as they were making a turn in Jelebu District, Malaysia on the 11th of March, at around 7:30 p.m.
The 25-year-old mum reportedly lost control of the vehicle, which “spun several times” before being hit by another vehicle.
Because of the impact, their daughter was flung from the car, out of the safety of her father’s arms. The baby was rushed to the hospital, where she succumbed to severe head injuries less than 24 hours later.
In Singapore, 132 children under 12 years old were injured in road accidents during the first half of early 2017. The majority of these could have been prevented through proper education and training about road safety.
Even if your car is equipped with all the latest safety features, you should not simply rely on them to keep you and your kids safe.
No matter how short the distance you’ll be travelling or how familiar you are with the route, accidents can still happen.
Some parents might think that their child is safest in their arms while in the car, but this could be dangerous. This is why car seats are so important.
According to the Singapore Police Force and the Traffic Police:
“From 1 January 2012, age will no longer be used as a criterion to determine if child restraints or booster seats are required. Anyone below the height of 1.35m will be required to be secured with a child restraint appropriate for a person of that height and weight, use a booster seat to supplement the seat belt or an adjustable seat belt. Those with a height of 1.35m and above, irrespective of their age, will be required to wear a seat belt.”
Parents of younger children can do their part by making sure that their kids are safe by choosing the right car seat. Little ones are more prone to injury and even death in the event of a crash.
Here are important car seat reminders, which should not be overlooked because they could be the difference between “life or death” in the event of an accident.
Since their spine is still developing, keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old. This protects them from possibly fatal neck and spinal injuries in the event of a car crash.
You can switch to a front-facing car seat once your baby turns two or outgrows their first car seat.
Around the age of eight to 12 years old — or when your child weighs 80 or even up to 100 pounds — they can already be switched to booster seats.
Remember: Seat belts were designed for those who are at least 4’9″ in height. So until your child is big enough, a booster seat is a MUST.
Make sure your child sits in the back seat until the age of 12. (Yes, protests are expected, but try to explain to your bigger kid why this rule is important to follow!)
DO NOT make these five common mistakes:
- Wrong harness placement. For rear-facing seats, the harness should be fastened below the shoulders. In forward-facing car seats, place it above the shoulders.
- Wrong chest clip placement. Make sure it is at your child’s armpit level.
- Not locking the car seat securely in place. Remember that the car seat should not be loose. A good way to check is by testing if it can’t be moved more than two inches in any direction.
- When using a booster seat, avoid wrong seat belt placement. The seatbelt should not run across your child’s tummy, face, or neck.
- Avoid securing the harness loosely. While it should not be too tight, car seat harnesses should not be to “slack or loose” either!
Aside from following car seat guidelines, always practice defensive driving and observe traffic rules. When it comes to the safety of our families, it always pays to go the extra mile.