Car seats are very important for your children when it comes to road safety. Read our car seat guide to learn what you should note when purchasing and using car seats!
How many times have you noticed children either standing or playing in the back seat of a moving vehicle?
Why are these kids not belted up and restrained? you ask yourself, not because you are annoyed with them for being hyperactive and naughty but because it is extremely dangerous that they are not strapped up!
Why are car seats important?
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Manual on ‘Seat Belts and Child Restraints’ emphasises the importance of restraining your child while driving. This is because a child up to 4 years of age has a 50% lower risk of injury in a forward-facing child restraint and 80% lower risk in a rear-facing seat in the case of an accident.
The manual further states that during a collision, car seats protect your children from injury in the following manners:
- preventing your child from being ejected from the vehicle
- distributing the forces of a crash over the strongest parts of your child’s body, with minimum damage to the soft tissues.
- reducing the risk of contact with the interior of the vehicle.
Car seats are also very important during non-collision events as they can protect your children when the car suddenly jerks to a stop or when the car door accidentally opens while the car is still in motion
Moreover, it is against the Singapore Law if your child is not properly buckled up! The traffic law dictates that all children under 8 years old has to be strapped in with an age appropriate child restrain – booster seat, car seat or seat buckle. First-time offenders can be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to three months upon conviction.
Choose the right type of car seat for your child!
“I don’t know if I should get a booster seat or a toddler seat for my 2-year-old!” ponders Fiona Chan.
The answer lies in the weight of your child. However, most use their child’s age as an easier gauge to choose car seats.
It is safest for an infant from zero to nine months old to be strapped in an infant seat that is rear facing.
From one to four years of age, a forward facing car seat called the toddler seat is most appropriate. Some car seats nowadays can be used in both rear facing and forward facing positions and therefore accommodate children from zero to four years old. These seats are called convertible car seats.
A booster seat is best for children who are more than four years old. Most children usually use the booster seat until they are around eight years of age.
Never neglect your car seat instruction manual!
Not only does the instruction manual that comes with your car seat tell you how to fix your car seat so that it is safe for your child, it also has other significant information like the following:
1) The expiration date
This date is usually six years from the date of manufacture. Car seats should not be used after the expiration date as safety standards change over time and wear & tear renders your car seat unsafe.
2) The proper way to place your child in the car seat
3) How to take care of your car seat
4) How to stow your car seat away