Singapore

Most parents agree child car restraints crucial

Ms Karen Ng, 36, was driving home with her year-old baby in July when she got into a four-car accident.

Her child escaped unscathed because he was secured in a baby seat.

Ms Ng and her son avoided tragedy, but a study by KK Women's and Children's Hospitalfound that more than half the children injured in traffic accidents were not properly buckled up.

Ms Elise Mawson, founder of Taxi Baby Singapore, which sells children's travel safety products, said some parents have told her that friends or family members discourage them from buying car restraints because "you do not really need one".

But Ms Mawson said sales have increased due to greater awareness and accessibility.

Price does not seem to be an issue, with most parents willing to pay for the latest car seat models, said Baby Hyperstore management supervisor Annabelle Villasis.

"They usually spend $400 to $600 on child car restraints," she said.

Nine out of 10 parents The New Paper spoke to agreed that child car restraints or seats are important.

A father of four, who wanted to be known only as Mr Wong, cited uncooperative children as a key reason for not using restraints.

"It is a handful for parents when children are fussing after being restrained. It is distracting and hard to focus on driving," he said.

However, Ms Sophia Oh, 44, a mother of two, said children can be pacified with music or videos.

Ms Mawson suggested more public awareness campaigns and stricter enforcement to help increase the use of child car restraints.

The law requires passengers under 1.35m in vehicles to be secured with an appropriate child restraint, or to use a booster seat or adjustable seat belt.

Mr Simon Tan Thiam Huat, 47, a father of two, likened a child car restraint to insurance. He said: "When something happens, you will be glad you have it."

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