Travelling with small children in taxis

(41 Posts)
A99Sing Mon 29-Apr-13 22:58:39

We're moving to Singapore in June and won't have a car. DH keeps on about taking taxis when MRT routes but I'm really hesitant as we won't have a car seat for dd who is 2. Just doesnt seem safe or sensible. and I can't really lug around the massive seat we currently use in our UK car for trips to supermarket etc.

I've tried researching portable ones but can't find anything that doesnt have a lot of associated issues. Does anyone know of any car seats for small 2 year old (11kg) that are portable? Or am I just being paranoid about the risks of car travel without proper child restraints (DH thinks I am)

A99Sing Mon 29-Apr-13 23:00:03

Sorry meant to say when MRT routes don't take us where we want to go

Most people in Singapore just hold tight to their kids in taxis - you will be amazed at the babies on laps in cars and toddlers in front passenger seats.... We rarely take taxis with the kids but have shared seatbelts with DD2 when she was about 2 (ie one seatbelt round me and the waist part round both of us). Not safe i know sad but the same problem you would have anywhere else in the world with taxis....

There are portable 5 point harnesses available that you can take along. The Joey Safe has been slated and I think no longer available but the Ride Safe is another version and seems pretty good but not very portable - seems to be a lot of padding. Once they are 4 (check height and weight though) you can get an inflatable booster cushion - we have Bubblebums. They are excellent and we take them on all flights etc as they roll up in hand luggage.

LittleMissLucy Tue 30-Apr-13 04:31:53

I was going to suggest BubbleBum inflatable car seats but checking the details they're for min 40lbs and 40inches. If you have a small 2 yr old they're likely not quite those sizes yet. It might be a good half way measure though, given they are so light?

Saltedcaramellavacake Tue 30-Apr-13 15:00:45

You might just about manage with DD on your lap if you can put the safety aspect out of your mind and you only have one child (would your DH REALLY have your DD sitting on your lap without a proper car seat in any other car?? Taxis here are just ordinary cars and sometimes quite old, crappy ones!). I did taxis for six weeks and then we got a car - I thought the taxi option was unsafe and I hated hanging about waiting for taxis with a tired toddler, trying to keep the toddler safe while folding the buggy and getting it into the boot etc. Plenty of people make do without a car, though - it just wasn't for me.

Clueless2727 Tue 30-Apr-13 15:53:18

Hi a99sing, we also have a bubblebum. It's an inflatable car seat, but it's only really a small booster, ok for older children but not sure it would be suitable for kids still in stage 1 car seat.

Sandgroper Tue 30-Apr-13 21:34:41

Hi

We have Bubblegum car seats, fab for travel, movies etc but agree with Clueless2727. However JoJo Maman also do a Trunki Boostapak Booster Seat which from memory is a bit more rigid but folds up into a backpack. Not sure if it is suitable for Stage 1 though. Might be worth a look

I have the Trunki one, it is just a booster really tho, don't know if I'd use it with a 2 yr old.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 30-Apr-13 22:00:55

Neither trunki or bubble bum are suitable for an 11kg 2 year old. If you want a car seat your only real options are to try and squeeze her into an infant seat (one that fits on your buggy might be most practical) or find a lightweight harnessed booster which covers group 1. The kiddy seats with impact shield are pretty lightweight and easier to carry around too. But really its the same situation that any non-driver faces and until she's old enough for a portable booster, you just have to work around it. Maybe you could get a bike and trailer?

BTW never ever put a seatbelt around 2 people as you will crush the child in an accident. Better to secure her in her own straps or even have unrestrained. Bear in mind that the weight of objects, including people, increases massively in an impact too so anything like reins or a basic sling will just break. You can get harnesses for lap children on aeroplanes etc which might work, or the kind of sling which is one long piece of material with no stitching might be stronger, just be sure to fasten the seatbelt under rather than over her.

You might find as well that if car seat laws are more lax there that devices are sold for this purpose, I've seen harnesses for sale on eBay from Hong Kong which you strap to the seat itself, but not sure how safe they are.

marchmad Tue 30-Apr-13 22:03:35

Wouldn't dream of putting a child under the same belt as me, either they'd go alone, or they'd go in the foot well. Yes that is a serious thing, it's safer for a 2 year old in the foot well than unrestrained.

MinnesotaNice Tue 30-Apr-13 22:07:42

These are very popular on a US car seat site and they come in different sizes: safetrafficsystem.com/ver4/

BTW, I recently read to never double up in a seat belt with an adult and child. Honestly, I hadn't really thought about it, but it makes sense. In an accident, the child would be crushed between the greater mass of the adult and the seat belt.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 30-Apr-13 22:07:46

Oh I see some have been linked above smile

Sorry, didn't realise about the seatbelt round 2 people thing - makes sense now and wouldn't do it again (although dd is now 4 and hasn't wanted to sit on my lap for a good year or two anyway...). Will spread the word as lots of my friends do this.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 01-May-13 06:31:11

You're not being paranoid but if you don't have a car, you have to weigh up the risks vs. the limitations if you don't use taxis. Re the harnesses, The freedom ride, which is the one they sell in HK, is apparently not great, plus it's a total pain to get on them. There is another one you can get from the US but they only ship within the US so either you need one of those forwarding services or someone who will forward it for you.

MortifiedAdams Wed 01-May-13 06:50:16

I wouldnt travel in the UK without a carseat for dd so it wouldnt cross my mind to do it elsewhere. I would hire.a car and car seat or use buses/tram/rail rather than taxis.

Good luck finding a decent portable carseat, link if you do as it will be useful.for a lot of people.

HollyMadison Wed 01-May-13 07:13:43

I live in Singapore and my DS is same age and weight as your DC OP. I haven't found an answer to this. I use a carseat I bought from Mothercare in the uk. It is quite basic and aimed at people who use it in taxis etc and don't have it permanently in one car. I would not consider it to be portable in that it is heavy and cumbersome and you can only take it somewhere if you can leave it at the other end.

I do use it though. Taxi drivers in Singapore are not always safe drivers. When I take a taxi with the carseat I have to take the stroller (as DS is far too silly to be trusted to stand still or get in the car quietly), so he sits in the stroller whilst I put the carseat in and then I put him in and then I fold stroller and put in boot. Sometimes taxi drivers look a bit pissed off, although I think I do it quickly, but I care more about safety than what they think.

I find that most places I take the carseat - including zoo, medical centre, friend's condos - there is somewhere to leave the seat as soon as I get there.

I have been known to use a sling (boba sling, facing me) for short journeys but I prefer the carseat. I haven't seen anyone else carting round a carseat and my friends used to comment on it, but I don't care. TBH I don't do things like take DS shopping on orchard when it truly would be a hassle. You couldn't really take it to a shopping mall or supermarket but we live close to shops and I go in the evening without DS and also shop online.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 02-May-13 13:08:15

I wouldnt travel in the UK without a carseat for dd so it wouldnt cross my mind to do it elsewhere. I would hire.a car and car seat or use buses/tram/rail rather than taxis.

Yeah, that's what they all say until they move to Asia. It's not that simple. Cars in Singapore are prohibitively expensive for many people. Public transport doesn't go everywhere and it's too hot (average daytime temp 31 degrees with high humidity) for long walks carrying shopping and toddlers.

MortifiedAdams Thu 02-May-13 13:16:54

grin lucky im not planning on moving to Asia then.

Cloverer Thu 02-May-13 13:21:13

I don't have a car and use a taxi fairly often, and can't often take a proper car seat for 2 year old DS. I have been using a Trunki boostapack as a next best option. They aren't supposed to be used til 15kg (DS is about 12.5kg now) but it's better than nothing and does at least position the seat belt correctly.

When he was under 2 I often used a sling on my front - belted myself in under the sling so the belt didn't go round both of us.

Saltedcaramellavacake Thu 02-May-13 16:14:02

I used to use the sling option too and still insist my helper and/or husband does that if they ever take my son (now 18 months) in a cab. Now I'm worried that that is unsafe by the same reasoning as the seat belt round both of you. Wouldn't the weight of the adult still squash the child in front in the event of an impact? I always thought the sling would stop the child flying through the air and through the front window or similar but maybe my reasoning is all wrong?

Saltedcaramellavacake Thu 02-May-13 16:27:12

Just did some frantic googling - a sling is a very bad idea and shouldn't be used. There's some pretty awful "crash test videos" to show what happens. Basically its the same as using the seatbelt over both of you. The advice is, 1. use a proper car seat suitable for the child's age/weight in the taxi or 2. if you don't have a car seat, any child over one should be put in a seat with the adult seatbelt round him/her.

Cloverer Thu 02-May-13 17:29:21

Could you link to one Saltedcaramel? I have seen videos where the sling is likely to break, but I still think it gives you more chance of holding onto a baby than with your arms alone, especially in a low speed crash. I haven't seen one that shows the baby is crushed though.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 02-May-13 19:49:13

I suppose that slings aren't designed to stretch like seat belts are. I would say chance of breaking is high with most commercial slings eg baby born etc because the weight of the child increases massively and the material just isn't strong enough. But I've seen adults testing wrap slings or mei tais by hanging from trees in them so think they are more sturdy, but you'd have to put the belt between you and the child. And then of course they aren't designed to be used in this way so the stresses etc on the body could cause injury. I'm not sure how, physically, they could have the same problem as one seatbelt around 2 people.

Alligatorpie Thu 02-May-13 20:35:48

If I don't have a car seat, I wear 11 month old dd in the Ergo. I thought that was the safest thing to do.

The problem here is that people often cut out the seat belts as soon as they get a car. Taxi's do not usually have seatbelts.

Salted - there are usually only lap belts in cars here, it seems very unsafe to put a one year old in a car with a lap belt. I can see a shoulder belt being better, but that often isn't an option. Any thoughts on whether its better to use the ergo or the lap belt?

Alligatorpie Thu 02-May-13 20:37:18

I should add that I buckle myself in, and not dd.

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