Singapore Dad's Horror As Entangled Seat Belt Almost Suffocates Daughter
A Singapore dad had a scary experience recently when his car's seat belt got entangled around his daughter's neck. His post highlights the dangers of seat belt entanglement...
A Singapore dad had a scary experience recently when his car’s seat belt got entangled around his daughter’s neck. The child started to turn blue. His post highlights the dangers of seat belt entanglement and how we can prevent such accidents in future.
Scary encounter with seat belt entanglement
According to Mothership, Singapore dad Emir was driving with his family to get some food for a party. While waiting for a parking lot, he noticed that his 7-year-old daughter was trying to call her older sister for help.
To his shock, the seat belt had got entangled on her neck.
He quickly stopped the car, and his wife went to the back seat to save the child.
But, the seat belt seemed to be stuck. Apparently, the seat belt was set on the automatic locking retractor (ALR) mode. The ALR mode is a safety precaution that locks the shoulder belt in place, while tightening it to avoid any slack. In this locking mode, the seat belt will only get tighter, until it is reset.
Both the father and mother were unable to remove the child’s seat belt. And to their horror, she stopped crying and her face turned blue.
“Her face started (to) become blue, she then stopped crying, she passed urine and were having difficulty to breathe and we just couldn’t do anything about it right in front of our eyes sitting on my wife’s lap.”
In utter panic, this dad ran to the nearby hawker stalls, asking for a knife to cut off the seat belt.
A hawker finally lend his knife, and the child was rescued. Thankfully, she regained consciousness, and was rushed to KK Hospital.
She is now recovering well, but still has some marks on her face and neck.
How to avoid seat belt entanglement: Tips from TaxiBaby
Meanwhile, Ellise Mawson, Singapore’s only Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, has explained what really happened. She’s also the founder of Taxi Baby, an online marketplace providing travel safety solutions to parents and families.
She has shared some important safety tips in a Facebook post.
“In Mr Emir’s case, his vehicle was equipped with switchable seat belt retractors – these behave like normal seat belts (only locking when jerked or when the vehicle’s brakes are applied) most of the time, but when the belt is fully extended, it will switch into a permanent locking mode – specifically designed to firmly secure the seat belt around a child safety seat.
“In this locking mode, the seat belt will only get tighter until the retractor is reset by feeding the belt all the way back in.
“His daughter accidentally engaged this locking mode by moving around so much that she extended the seat belt to its full length. A booster seat could’ve avoided the seat belt being positioned across her neck.
“As parents, we pray that a day like this never comes, and it strikes fear in our hearts to know it could even be possible. As a certified Child Safety Technician and mother of two young children, it was heartbreaking to put myself in their shoes.
“Here are some tips you can follow to avoid such situations in the future:
1. Don’t leave your kids unattended in the car, even for short periods.
2. By law, children below 1.35 m in height need to use a booster seat or car seat.
3. Use your car seat until your child reaches the seat’s height and weight limits. Don’t graduate them to the next stage just because they’ve reached the minimum age range for the next stage. Some car seats in Singapore allow children to use a 5-point harness (not the seat belt) until 30 kg.
4. Booster seats help position the seat belt over the strongest parts of a child’s body (ie. their collar bone, not their neck; their thighs not their stomach) and reduce the risk of them sliding down under the seat belt (known as submarining).
5. When filling up at a petrol station, undo everyone’s seat belt inside the vehicle in case you need to make a quick exit.
6. Keep a small seat belt cutter tool on your car keys; these usually come as a small 2-in-1 tool with an emergency window break function.
“If you have questions we can help with, please don’t hesitate to contact us: +6590703351, [email protected] Together let’s make our kids safer tomorrow than they were today.”