Car seat safety: Where to position babies and toddlers

June 16, 2016
  • Tragic car crash at Lentor Avenue
    1 / 6 Tragic car crash at Lentor Avenue

    In the wake of the tragic Lentor Avenue accident, road safety experts are reminding that children should travel in the back seat of cars – and be secured properly.

    A three-year-old boy was believed to be sitting in the front passenger seat without a car seat or booster seat. He suffered head injuries.

    His six-year-old brother, who was in the rear of the car, suffered injuries to his spine.

    Their mother had died, while the father, who was driving, appeared to be relatively uninjured.

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  • Back seat safer for kids
    2 / 6 Back seat safer for kids

    Infants and toddlers should be in car seats, while older ones can be in booster seats. While airbags in the front can save a person’s life, they can endanger young children.

    “In the first place, the airbag is not meant for children,” Mr Bernard Tay, president of the Automobile Association of Singapore, told The New Paper.

    “For the airbag to be activated, there is an explosive action. This airbag could be dangerous and might suffocate the child.”

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  • Choose the right child restraint
    3 / 6 Choose the right child restraint

    A properly fitted child restraint system can reduce fatal injuries by up to 75 per cent and serious injuries by 67 per cent, according to a 2002 Traffic Police campaign to advocate the importance of belting up.

    Children should be properly buckled up in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height and weight.

    Mr Gerard Pereira, training manager of the Singapore Safety Driving Center, said car seats should face the rear of the car.

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  • Babies (up to nine months, weighing up to 10kg)
    4 / 6 Babies (up to nine months, weighing up to 10kg)

    Infants should be placed in a rear-facing infant capsule in the back seat.

    Related: 5 tips for buying a car seat

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  • Toddlers (from nine months to four years, weighing 9kg to 18kg)
    5 / 6 Toddlers (from nine months to four years, weighing 9kg to 18kg)

    Younger toddlers should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat in the back for the best protection. Once the child has outgrown the seat, a forward-facing seat can be used.

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  • Older children (from five to eight years, weighing 19kg to 36kg)
    6 / 6 Older children (from five to eight years, weighing 19kg to 36kg)

    Older children should be strapped in a forward-facing car seat in the back. If they have reached the height and weight limit of their seat, a booster seat should be used until seat belts can be fitted properly.

    A version of this story first appeared in The New Paper and The Straits Times. 

    (Photo: Lianhe Wanbao; graphics: The Straits Times)


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