BUYERS GUIDE Car seats for babies to tots (below 90cm)

Keep bubba safely snuggled up in these classy car seats for tots. Safety first on the roads!

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If you think that belting up with little bubba on your lap is safe enough, think again. The Automobile Association of Singapore issued a grim reminder: When a car travelling at just 50kmh hits an object and stops, an unrestrained kid is thrown forward with a force that’s 30 times his body weight (assuming an average of 10kg for a newborn, the force will be more three baby elephants)! The adult could also be flung forward, hitting that child and crushing them further!

          The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to use rear-facing car seats for children two years and below (roughly up to the height of about 90cm).

          Forward-facing seats with child harnesses are better suited to toddlers and preschoolers — and we have a story upcoming about that. Booster seats — which can come with or without a harness — are for school-aged children. Once bubba’s above 1.35m, the adult seat belts should serve well enough.

          Installation of car seats are mandated by law not according to the child’s age but by height. So long as kewpie’s below 1.35m, they will need to be seated in an age-, height-, and weight-appropriate child restraint. So be sure to check out the specifications of these seats before buying them. As the driver, if any of your passengers are caught flouting the rule, you may face a fine of up to $120 with three demerit points to your name — the same applies to adult passengers who are travelling without the use of their seatbelts.

          There are also combination (sometimes called convertible) seats available on the market. These seats that can be used from birth — rear-facing first, then forward facing until they are 4 to 12 years old. Although these tend to be expensive, you can use them for much longer.

          Make sure that your properly installed car seat does not move or slide around. Newer car seats may come with the ISOFix feature that requires your car to have ISO-brackets and a tether strap. While ISO-brackets in cars are mandated by law in the UK, to date, there isn’t much call for them in Singapore. You may wish to check with your car workshops to have them installed.

Photo: iStock

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