Lugging around a car seat can be cumbersome but it just might save junior’s life especially in a car accident.
The Automobile Association of Singapore reminds us all that an individual who is not securely buckled in a vehicle will be slamming into any traffic barriers with the same force as someone hitting the ground after “jumping from the third storey of a HDB block”. Even if driving at 50kmh (what many think is “driving slowly”).
And some parents might presume they can “hold their children” — from our previous story, BUYERS GUIDE Baby's Car seats (below 90cm), the force pulling the baby/child out of your arms would start with what feels like the weight of three baby elephants. Good thing then, that when securely fitted, a child restraint can reduce serious injuries in accidents by 67 per cent and fatal injuries by up to 75 per cent!
Besides saving the life of your precious one, note that it is also a violation of the law not to have your child be seated in a suitable child restraint, if he is below the height of 135cm. Anyone caught flouting this rule will be liable to pay a $120 fine and/or have three demerit points to his name — the same penalty also applies to any unbelted adult.
There are three broad categories of car seats for tots — booster seats, high-back boosters with harness or without harness. High-back boosters with harnesses are for the lower end of the range, toddlers nearer the 90cm. You may choose to remove the harness once mini-me hits preschool age.
The booster seats are used to help your little one adjust to sitting in the passenger seat without any assistance upon reaching the legal height limit of 135cm. These should work fine with the normal three-point passenger seatbelts, too.
MOTHERCARE MALMO HIGHBACK BOOSTER CAR SEAT- BLACK
WHAT? Besides coming with the usual features like a side-impact support and a quick-release buckle for the five point harness, the lightweight shell that comes with this booster seat makes it easy to move the seat from one vehicle to another. This is a convertible seat meaning parents can use it from birth till your kid turns 11 or 12, with the maximum weight support set at 36kg. It also comes in hot pink.
PROS The low price-point makes the chair a winner since it is also a convertible chair.
CONS Washing of the seat’s fabric covers is by hand only.
DAIICHI D-GUARD TODDLER - NAVY
WHAT? As far as credentials go, the five-point harness in this Daiichi seat comes from Sabelt, a reputable public sponsor of car racing in Italy and a preferred choice by some F1 racing teams — expert stuff to our ears. The harness and back support are detachable, which means the seat will be good for use as junior grows up. The padding in this car seat is made with sweat absorbing but fast drying materials — called Aerocool and Coolever — which would definitely help in Singapore’s humid conditions.
PROS The Double Structure D-SIP system of cushioning can protect junior’s head on both sides, a good protective measure against head injury.
CONS At 7.8kg, you’ll have great biceps hauling this about…
MAXI-COSI AXISS 2016
WHAT? This is easier to settle your mini-me into as it has a 90O swivel! The seat also comes with a tensioner system, which claims to ensure the harness latches perfectly on to baby. The colour indicator is makes it easy for you to ensure that the chassis of the seat is securely locked into a forward-facing position. Unlike most removable covers we come across, the ones that come with this seat are machine washable (for slightly easier cleaning). This car seat also comes with comfy crotch pads that ensure bubba remains snugly secured all throughout the trip.
PROS: The swiveling of the chair is definitely a neat feature that could cut the time struggling to buckle in your little one.
CONS: At $718 this chair is the priciest on our list, and by the looks of it, possibly the heaviest as well.
For more car seats, click to the next page!
BRITAX PARKWAY SG G1.1
WHAT? Keep your little one’s sippy cup within reach with the retractable cup holders that come included with this Britax seat. The SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection turns the seat into a protective shell. The maker also claims to (somewhat) simplify the complex art of proper positioning of the seat with a colour-coded vehicle-belt guide. As your little tyke grows up, the removable back padding can transform the seat into to a backless booster seat. By which time, the SecureGuard Clip feature of the seat will come in handy in ensuring that your car seat belt is positioned correctly over your child’s hips to reduce the risk of abdominal injury.
PROS With the litany of safety features, this seat sounds like a trusty contender.
CONS Without a harness means, this seat is meant for when your little tyke hits preschool age, which could turn the seat into a more costly investment.
GRACO AFFIX BACKLESS YOUTH BOOSTER SEAT WITH LATCH SYSTEM - SAILOR
WHAT? Besides a cup holder for junior’s sippy cup or toy, the seat comes with a hideaway compartment to store snacks which can be a handy means of keeping your mini-me occupied during road trips. The seat includes a front Latch system, which allows for easy one-hand maneuvering to secure the vehicle seat in place. Like most other booster seats, this is meant as for your kid to eventually learn how to buckle himself in.
PROS The front latch makes for greater ease in securing the placement of the seat.
CONS It could be easy to forget about snacks in the “hidden” compartment and the last thing you want would be a pest issue.
MOTHERCARE DREAM BOOSTER SEAT - SPORT
WHAT? A good choice for parents shopping around for a no-frills car seat designed for children between the ages of four to 11. The extra-wide design of this padded seat makes it a good choice especially if junior is bigger. The design of the seat includes a belt guide to help secure the car’s three-point seatbelt correctly over junior’s shoulders.
PROS The extra-wide seat can make this a comfier alternative than most other boosters.
CONS The fabric cover of the seat is only washable by hand.
If your child is under 90cm in height, check out this guide
Check out more SmartParents BUYER'S GUIDES here