Are you doing it right?

Not too long ago the law in Singapore was changed to require car seats for children who are below 1.35m tall. I do agree with this rule as the whole point of car seat is to ensure that children who are not large enough to be securely belted up by regular seatbelts are safely strapped on a car. And this has nothing to do with age but everything to do with size, which is a combination of height and weight so height is certainly a more accurate gauge.

That said, I pity poor Sophia who is likely to be shorter than her peers looking at her parents and grandparents. When riding in cars with her friends when she’s say 7 or 8, she’ll probably still need to be strapped in while many of her friends don’t. Her mummy was below 1.35 even at 10 years old. I wonder whether this will lead to any negative feelings. As it is being short has hit my self esteem growing up and resulted in many disappointments – not being able to go on roller coaster rides or enter certain play areas, being called to sit in the front of the class etc are all bad enough as it is and now short children need to sit in a “baby seat” on a car and potentially be mocked by friends.

I haven’t quite consolidated my own thoughts on how to go about ensuring child safety on cars. I think clamping down offenders of this law is a good start. More should also be done to educate parents on proper use of car seats else all is for naught.

I think we would be hardpressed to find a parent who has not done something wrong on the carseat from at least once throughout her child’s growing up years, be it allowing her to be outside the car seat on “short trips” or turning the car seat to face the front too early in a bid to make the car seat experience less unpleasant for the child.

So, what do you think of the new law? A welcome change and reminder or a pain?