Travelling with small children in taxis(41 Posts)
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)
We use a graco car seat here in the US and it easily goes in and out of the car. You can get them for up to 35lbs. DD at 22 months is barely 27lbs.
I have seen lots of women put their baby in a baby bjorn and then strap themselves in. Couldn't do it myself.... Graco car seat is a bit clumpy but so much better than holding on tight!
If you are in a bus, tram or train my Dad harps on about keeping the baby in the stroller. He is an expert in transportation safety so I can't argue. He also tells me to avoid road transportation with the DCs. He tells me to take the train. Must lower risk of there being a problem, especially if you keep the baby/child in their stroller.
This is the US version:
Saltedcaramel - I haven't used a Travelmate but the idea is to use as a pram. I'm not sure whether feet would drag, but for those one of situations you just want a seat it might work. You get pretty quick at installing forward facing seats - we move ours between cars regularly so it only takes me a minute or two. It is an Aussie product but you'd want to use a UK or US seat with it as Australian seats require a top tether strap for effectiveness - which either wouldn't exist or would to too much faffing for taxis.
There is also a US seat with an inbuilt trolley system specifically for travelling eg for use on planes but as a pram up to the gate. I'll see if I can find it and link.
Anyone remember this accident caught on camera recently, child not restrained in car seat falls out of car and manages to survive. A real life crash test dummy of what happens when a child is up at window height.
If your'e travelling in a car without seat belts or where the child is likely to suffer severe injuries from being under a lap/diagonal belt because they are too small, the safest place for them to be is the foot well in the back. It sounds crazy but think what happens in a crash and where a child would be thrown.Rear facing car seats are best for young children, foot well facing backwards.
Expat2 that's a really clever idea. I guess the only issue here would be how quickly you could get the carseat off the travel mate and installed in the taxi (presumably you have to thread the lap sash belt through the back of it to secure it, which is more of a faff with a forward facing carseat than a baby capsule one), but it's a great carrying idea. Can you use it instead of a pushchair when you're out (can the child sit in it while you pull it along or do their feet drag on the ground?).
Would a Travelmate work?
Also, this info online comes from countries where car seats are commonplace. Therefore it's fairly rate for a parent in the UK, Australia or most of the US to find themselves in a situation where they must improvise a car seat. For an occasional journey, the risk is very low- car crashes aren't that common anyway and the odds of it happening on the one time you didn't have a car seat are slim.
It's different if you're living in a country where car seats are less common. Probably the best way of getting information would be looking at sources of information from that country itself, which might be difficult if you don't speak the language. You could perhaps ask local police what they recommend - being blunt, they are the ones clearing up after car accidents.
The reason that there is limited info online is for liability reasons. We all know a car seat is best and I would like to keep my dc's as safe as posible, but putting them in a car seat / booster is not always possible. It is quite common here to put the babies in infant seats, and not buckle them in - just put them on the back seat.
The car seat lady has some good info - thanks for the link
we are off to Singapore in June as well, with 3 kids, and I have been wondering the same thing. its all such a worry!
Apologies - the second link was missing. Also, just to note again that these are extracts of research from reliable authorities put into a website that I'd never heard of until last night. I have no idea if the "carseatlady" should be trusted on what is such a serious topic. The web is full of conflicting info on this topic so it's hard to know what is best if you don't have a proper car seat.
There is a lot of conflicting information online. I certainly don't think I have the answer yet and want to do more research to see if I can find out more. Here is the link to the seat belts for over ones that I found - it's Australian. Again, it's only if there isn't a proper carseat or booster, but it is a bit internally inconsistent as it also says an ill fitting seatbelt (which an adult lap sash belt would be on a one year old) is unsafe.
Here is the link to the site which includes what is said to be an Australian authority's crash test with Baby Bjorn (the BB breaks and the baby flies unrestrained through the car). It also cites some US research to the effect that your head would smash into the baby's.
I haven't been able to find the source research/test and that would obviously be a lot better than reading extracts on another site. If I find it I will post. In the meantime, I think it's really difficult to know what is best. In Singapore there are freeways etc so you can find yourself going at speed (to take my older daughters to school in a taxi we would be on a 90km per hour expressway, for example).
It's always a dilemma. I do use the ergo for the baby with seatbelt in between us. In HK most of the daylight hour crashes in the area I live (i.e. built up urban areas, no freeways) are "fender benders", such as taxis side scraping other taxis whilst trying to change lanes so I figure it may offer some protection against that, but I know it would be pretty useless in a high speed crash. We are fortunate in that we do have a car, but even then sometimes I just cant use it- e.g if I'm visiting a friend who has no visitor parking, plus when I'm working, my helper has to take taxis.
I might look into the trunki thing for my older child (2.5)
The baby in the sling can't have the same effect as the seatbelt over both of you. Imagine the physics with, say, balls of plasticine - or crash test dummies or anything less gory than humans.
The car crashes and stops. The objects inside the car continue to move forwards until they are stopped by something else. So, adult in seatbelt alone is fine, because they are the only thing moving. The seat behind them is attached to the car and has stopped moving. The seatbelt stops them because it is attached to the car.
If you have two objects in that seatbelt, say a grape and an orange, the front one keeps moving forward at speed and is stopped by the seatbelt. The problem comes with the second object, which is also moving at speed and then is stopped, quite suddenly, by the seatbelt, but the grape is in the way. If however the grape had its own seatbelt, the orange wouldn't have anything to squash it against so it would be fine.
The physics are much like falling. If you imagine dangling on your front with a harness suspending you. No way would you ever put someone else underneath you, between your front and the harness, unless they were much bigger than you. You would squash them. But you might put another person in a separate harness attached somehow to the front of yours. It wouldn't be comfortable, it may put extra strain on your own harness, but you wouldn't be lying directly on another person.
I would have thought that a 3-point shoulder and lap belt would go over a one year olds head, so no difference between that and a lap belt (apart from massive amounts of slack!) . Neither will realistically do anything at all as they would be so loose on her. I'd personally stick with the ergo for now. The little jacket thing linked above looks good though.
I should add that I buckle myself in, and not dd.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
lucky im not planning on moving to Asia then.
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.
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