Driving with baby: Car seat and safety

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We love our children. We want to always be with them and take them wherever we go. We even want to seat them beside us while driving in the car. However, this is not safe and is, in fact, illegal in Singapore and a lot of other countries. 

In Singapore, a child with a height below 1.35 meters sits at the back of the vehicle. The child must also be secured in a car seat and restrained by an appropriate adjustable seat belt.

Many options are available in the market if you’re looking for safe and sturdy baby car seats. Online boutique stores like Not Too Big offer a wide range of baby car seats from different brands.

Why put a child’s seat at the back?

Airbags now come standard in automobiles for both driver and front passenger. Should an accidental collision occur and the front passenger airbag goes off, the sudden, rapid inflation of the airbag can injure your child. Yes, an airbag is meant to save you and your passenger’s life, but babies and children are fragile. They can not sustain the impact of an airbag without getting seriously injured. 

Even when the child is placed in a car seat or a booster seat, it is still not safe. This is the main reason why it is safest to place your child’s car seat at the back.

The right car seat for your baby

There are plenty of baby car seats on the market. So which one is best suited for your needs? 

Age and size as a determining factor

This is the first step in determining the type of car seat your child needs. A child’s age is a major factor in choosing the proper car seat. Age is related to physical development and is a basis of car seat manufacturers in the design of car seats. Some children, though, are bigger or smaller than other children of the same age. You should choose a car seat that is appropriate for your child’s size, no matter their age.

A car seat that fits your car

The size of your car is the second thing you must consider before purchasing a car seat. Not all car seats fit every car on the market. Some car seats are more compact than others. It is best to inquire from a seller if a certain car seat you are looking at fits your automobile.

Types of baby car seat

Infant car seat

A car seat for infants is meant to be rear-facing, and the reason for this is simple. An infant is extremely fragile. Its bones are soft, and its muscles have not strengthened. The spinal cord and neck muscles are too weak to support the head. 

Should the vehicle come to an abrupt stop, the head of the baby will be supported by the back of the child seat, preventing it from getting thrown around hence preventing severe injury or death?

Forward facing seat

This car seat is meant for bigger, older kids who are strong enough to support their heads. These seats usually come with their own harness to strap your child on. 

Booster seat

This is the type of car seat that can come with a high backrest or no backrest. Meant for children aged four years and up, a booster seat uses the existing seat belt in your vehicle to keep your child restrained. The booster seat ensures that your child fits snugly and tight between the rear passenger seat and the seat belt.

Convertible seat

This type of seat is designed to last for many years of usage. Convertible seats are versatile and meant to be used by your child of different ages. There are convertible seats that can be used facing the rear when your child is still in infancy. When your child gets bigger and older, the same seat can be used facing forward. Convertible seats offer great value for your money. 

Certain child car seats also double as baby carriers. Some are also adaptable to transform into baby strollers. Added features also include a canopy for sun protection and baby bottle holders.

Conclusion

Baby car seats are essential. They are designed to have impact absorption and protection, which redirect impact forces away from your baby. It may be cumbersome at first to choose and purchase a child car seat. 

However, it is a device that adds immeasurable value to your child’s safety. You are sure to have peace of mind taking your child out for a ride in your car, knowing they are strapped tight to a child’s car seat. Always affix your child’s car seat in the back seat and never in the front. Safety should always be your number one priority.

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