Getting Started - Know Your Child’s Measurements
Booster or child restraint seats are a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act for those below the height of 1.35 metres in Singapore. In any case, even if not legally mandated, choosing the right child car seat and having this properly installed would still be an essential priority for parents like yourself, to ensure the safety of your child while travelling in your car.
To choose a suitable child car seat, you would need to first take some measurements of your child. The seats usually have weight or height bands. These measurements will help you choose the suitable seat for your child.
Front, Rear or Combination Child Seat?
In addition, you need to consider if you need a rear facing, front facing or combination facing child seat. The recommendation is for babies 15 months and below to use rear facing seats. This is given that the necks are still not strong enough to withstand the shock impact from a collision, while facing forward.
From 15 months onwards to 4 years, you can then move your child to a front facing seat with an integral harness. An adjustable harness would allow you to continue to use the seat, and adjust for size as your child grows. A seat with a good side protection system will also give protection and cushion for any side collision impacts and offer better protection for your child.
There are also combination facing seats, which allows your child to seat rear facing at the younger age, then move to front facing when appropriate. Installation is generally recommended for rear seats, which are much safer than the front seat. The middle rear seat would also keep the child away from side impacts. Do follow carefully the instruction manual that comes with your purchase to ensure that the installation is done correctly for the proper protection of your child.
There are also infant seats that can be moved to a stroller, which can be helpful in moving a sleeping baby. These car seat strollers, however, would typically only last till the child is 1 years old only.
Once your child has exceeded the height or weight limit for the child safety seat, you can then move your child to a car booster seat. The purpose of the booster is to raise the child’s seated height to a level that the seat belt can fit properly. There are high back designs as well as backless booster seats. The high back designs would provide neck and head support for your child.