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Choosing Children’s Car Seats In Singapore
When it comes to putting children in car seats we still fall short here in Singapore.
Far too often youngsters are seen sitting on parents’ laps, not a child car seat in sight.
There are no excuses when it comes to safety but at the same time we agree that choosing a car seat from the hundreds on offer can be a daunting task.
This guide is designed to help you make the best choice for your child while establishing good habits and navigating the do’s and don’ts.
Firstly, here is what the Singapore law states when it comes to child restraints and booster seats.
Children below the height 1.35m are required to be secured with a child restraint. Either use a booster seat to supplement the seat belt or an adjustable seat belt.
Under Singapore law, failing to comply with child-seat regulations can incur a fine of up to $1,000 or jail of up to three months.
How to Choose, Install & Adjust Your Children’s Car Seats
Every child restraint is different. This guide is designed to help you make the best choice for your child while establishing good habits and navigating the do’s and don’ts.
If your child car seat is over 10 years old they may be at risk each time you drive
Before you buy or hire a car seat, new or second hand, make sure that it can be fitted into your particular make of car. For those buying second-hand seats, check with the vendor that the restraint you are considering is less than 10 years old. If your child car seat is over 10 years old they may be at risk each time you drive.
And despite the car seat being used prior, make sure it comes with its own instruction manual.
Another must is to assess the condition of the seat. If it is showing wear and tear in the straps, buckles or hard-case shell, safety will be compromised. For second-hand baby capsules, the restraint must be a harness, not the old-fashioned Velcro body band.
Types of Car Seats
To work out what is best for you, consider the needs of your growing child. The main styles available include baby capsules (birth to 6 months), rear- and forward-facing restraints (6 months to 4 years) and booster seats (4 years to 7 years).
Baby Capsule: This is a car seat classic that offers the ultimate protection for babies (newborns to 6 months). The two-piece design is rear-facing (until babies are old enough to have head control) and features a portable carrier that fits within a hard shell and anchors by an adjustable harness.It is always good practice to have your capsule fitted in advance of the baby’s due date so it is in place and safely installed ready for the return journey home with baby from the hospital.
Rear Facing: The advantage of a rear-facing car seat is it is designed to transition. While starting off in the rear-facing position, the seat can then be turned around to assume the standard front-facing position once the baby is big enough.
Capsule/Pram Combo: This original, European design is very practical in that parents can take their baby from the car to the pram without disturbance — ‘never wake a sleeping baby’ — and it means one less device to buy. This design is suitable for newborns to 1 year (13 kilograms).
Booster Seats: These are for older children who have outgrown their car seats but are not ready to sit unassisted in the car.