Child Car Restraint FACTSHEET
What is a child car restraint?
- A child car restraint refers to a child car seat or child booster seat designed specifically to protect children from injury or death in the event of a road traffic collision.
- Children typically outgrow child car restraints around the age of 10 to 12 years old, when they are taller than 1.35m.
What is an appropriate child car restraint?
- An appropriate child car restraint has to be suitable for the child’s height, weight and age.
- Recommendations vary for each seat type.
- Owners should check the manual to verify the recommended height and weight for proper usage of the child car restraint.
How is child car restraint usage mandated in Singapore?
- According to the Road Traffic Act [Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Wearing of Seat Belts) Rules 2011], children below 1.35m in height have to be properly secured in approved child car restraints in cars.
- A first-time offender may be fined up to $1,000/- or jailed up to 3 months. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $2,000/- or jailed up to 6 months.
How do child car restraints protect a child during an accident?
- They keep the child in the vehicle.
- They distribute the crash impact over the strongest parts of the body.
- Restrain children away from vehicle structure.
- They protect the vital body parts – the head, brain and spinal cord.
- Minimise damage to soft tissues.
Why are children more vulnerable to injuries during an accident?
- As children’ bodies are developing, their necks, spines and pelvis are much more fragile and more easily injured than an adult’s.
- Children’s bodies are proportionally very differently from adults’ bodies. Relative to their bodies, children’s heads and torsos are significantly larger and heavier, while their hips and pelvis are very narrow. The narrow hips make it much more likely for them to slide out underneath the seat belt in an accident.
- Children’s heavy heads and torsos make it necessary to provide extra protection to stop their spines from bending forward with great force during an accident as this can lead to severe head and neck injuries.
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