What you should do with your child in a car

Rear-facing car seat

Birth to Age two*

Buckle infants and children under two in a rear-facing seat until they reach the weight or height limit of the seat. Rear-facing car seats offer the most protection during a collision, said Mr Gerard Pereira."Upon impact, the infant will not fly out of the car seat."

Forward-facing car seat

Age two to five*

When the children get bigger, buckle them in a forward-facing car seat until they are at least five or they reach the weight or height limit of the seat.

Booster seat

Age five to until seat belts fit properly*

Children above five should use booster seats until the seat belt fits properly without booster seats.

Seat belt

Seat belts fit properly without booster seats*

The lap belt should lay across the upper thighs and shoulder belt should lay across the chest and not the neck.

*Apart from their child's age, parents should also consider the size of their child when choosing the appropriate child restraint, said Mr Gerard Pereira of the Singapore Safety Driving Centre. "Asian children tend to be smaller."


Scenario 1 Not wearing seat belt

If the child is not wearing a seat belt during a crash, the impact will throw him or her across the car or even into the windscreen, causing serious injuries, even at 50kmh.

Scenario 2 Child in the back seat, facing forwards

If a child is too small for the car seat, he or she may still get injured in a crash, said Mr Gerard Pereira. The impact of a collision will jolt the child forwards and cause injuries like fractures.

Scenario 3 Child in front seat, facing forwards

When the airbag is activated in a collision, it may injure the child, said Mr Pereira, who does not recommend placing child restraints in the front seat. A child's neck is vulnerable in a frontal collision as it is not fully developed.

Scenario 4 Child in front seat, facing backwards

The airbag deployed in a crash may cause serious injury to the child as it will hit the back of the child seat with considerable force, pushing it up against the front seat and the head rest.