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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:04   #1
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Post Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

All children should be seated in a suitable restraint when traveling in a car for their own safety. Adult seat belts do not offer sufficient protection for babies and children and an appropriate child restraint must be used until the child reaches 7-8 years. This includes the first journey home from the hospital with ones baby. Different countries have different laws regarding the upper age of the child for the use of a child seat or restraint.
Needless to say, there are no rules by our government regarding child safety in the car and I don't foresee rules being framed for the same over the next decade. Road safety, driving rules, tests for driving license are obviously of no concern in our country.

In Australia, following are the rules for child restraints:
  • All children under seven years of age must use a child restraint or booster seat when traveling in a car
  • Children under 6 months must use an approved, properly fastened and adjusted rearward facing restraint
  • Children aged between 6 months and under 4 years must use an approved, properly fastened and adjusted rearward facing child restraint OR a forward facing restraint
  • Children aged between 4 years and under 7 years must use an approved, properly fastened and adjusted forward facing restraint or an approved booster seat which is properly positioned and fastened
However it is for our child's safety and thus we should make sure that whatever can be done should be done. As I said, adult seat belts are a no no for children! Cars sold in India may not have the bolts to fit the child restraints. But if one looks carefully, the ANCHOR POINTS for these bolts are inbuilt in the car body and thus can be utilized for proper fixing of the child restraints.

Description of Child seats and Restraints:
  • A baby restraint, or 'capsule' is a rear facing seat. This should be used until your child is at least 6 months old.
  • A child restraint is a rear/rear-forward or forward facing seat with it's own belt system. This should be used until your child is at least 4 years old.
  • A booster seat is for children aged 4 - y years old. If a booster seat does not have it's own inbuilt seat belt system, ensure that the adult seat belt system is used correctly. A lap-sash belt is the recommended system. If one has a lap-only belt that can't be replaced with a lap-sash belt, consider using a child-harness.
  • There are hybrids (Convertable Car Seats) available, which can be used as a baby capsule for the first 6 months and then reversed to make it into a proper child seat! These are a bit expensive as compared to others.
  • There are some baby capsules available which do fit on the strollers. The strollers can be folded to keep in the boot and the capsule fitted into the back seat to work as a baby capsule in the car.
Another safety feature for children unto 6-7 years of age is that they should not be seated on the front passenger seats because of the dangers of suffocation in cars with air bags .
Most modern cars have an anchor point behind the rear seat which a child restraint can be attached to. Child restraints should always be fitted in the rear seat of the car.


PLEASE REMEMBER - BADLY/LOOSELY/IMPROPERLY FITTED CHILD RESTRAINT IS AS DANGEROUS AS NOT HAVING ONE!

Please use seat belts and child restraints for your children and ensure a safe drive for your family!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:17   #2
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

Great thread, thanks! Here's an extremely informative, related discussion for those interested in knowing more : Child Seats for Kids
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:39   #3
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

Yes, this thread is real important, more important than threads on ICE, Performance, Body Kits etc. I find it strange that I find couple in 5 series travelling with their little children on the mother's lap. Heck, when you can afford a car worth half a crore rupees, can't you afford to spend under 10k for your child's safety?? Do you want your child to shoot straight through the windscreen in a accident? I find it ridiculous.
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Another safety feature for children unto 6-7 years of age is that they should not be seated on the front passenger seats because of the dangers of suffocation in cars with air bags .
Well, there is a provision to deactivate the front passenger airbag, and the child seat should be placed such that the child faces away from the windscreen.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:55   #4
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

Excellent thread!
Child safety is one of the key parameter in Euro-NCAP ratings. And ISOFIX mounts are yet to catch up in our cars - except for the premium Europeans.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 20:32   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Great thread, thanks! Here's an extremely informative, related discussion for those interested in knowing more : Child Seats for Kids
Thanks for the encouraging words. I hope this thread is well read and lot more readers get involved in the discussion. I will in the next few weeks discuss about the importance of seat belts, some basic rules for pedestrians, safe night driving, Importance of golden hour in case of road trauma and Important rules on road to follow!

Well, there is a provision to deactivate the front passenger airbag, and the child seat should be placed such that the child faces away from the windscreen.[/quote]

I would in no circumstance deactivate the cars safety mechanism. Children do very well in the back seat and get used to it in no time!

Last edited by Jaggu : 2nd February 2011 at 21:04. Reason: Back to back posts, use Multi Quote (Quote+) instead.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 20:46   #6
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

couple things:

1. Never ever use an adult seat together with a child. in case of a crash, adult's weight will crush the child.
2. make sure the seat is well latched. We had an incident when my son unclicked the seat (it was attached using the adult seat belt, as recommended by the manufacturer) and he went forward with the seat attached to him when i braked hard. Now I use top tether in addition to the regular seat belt so it never happens again.
3. power windows. A child was killed playing with it when he was strangled by the power window.
4. Heat: never leave children in a car alone. it can heat pretty fast in summer.


As a general rule, never leave children in a car alone, even for a minute. Also goes for avoiding CO poisoning if you leave the car running.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 21:37   #7
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

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Originally Posted by rkap01 View Post

I would in no circumstance deactivate the cars safety mechanism. Children do very well in the back seat and get used to it in no time!
Well, it is a provision provided by the car manufacturers themselves, which is a keyring on the LHS of the dash, and just requires the flip of your key. When the kid is out and an adult needs to travel, slot it back in the original position and the passenger airbags will work.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 21:52   #8
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkap01 View Post

I would in no circumstance deactivate the cars safety mechanism. Children do very well in the back seat and get used to it in no time!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkin evoisrevo View Post
Well, it is a provision provided by the car manufacturers themselves, which is a keyring on the LHS of the dash, and just requires the flip of your key. When the kid is out and an adult needs to travel, slot it back in the original position and the passenger airbags will work.
In newer cars passenger airbag is turned off if it detects a lightweight passenger with a warning light on. There are circumstances when front seat is used by kids, although rear seats are safest. The guidelines say put the in rear seat when available. two seater cars and single cab trucks can keep the child in front seats.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 23:23   #9
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
couple things:

4. Heat: never leave children in a car alone. it can heat pretty fast in summer.
As a general rule, never leave children in a car alone, even for a minute. Also goes for avoiding CO poisoning if you leave the car running.
Thanks for this comment. Temperatures inside a parked car can go up beyond 60 degree Centigrade - which can cause heat stroke, convulsions and sudden death in a child! I remember a child dying within 40 minutes, when left buckled in the car seat in a stolen car! Please remember, never leave a child alone in the car, never! Even if you can watch the car from the store window; even if you have gone into a store for just 30 seconds!
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Old 3rd February 2011, 12:44   #10
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

I noticed that the recent launch release of Maruti Kizashi mentioned the ISO fix child seat anchorage availability in the car.
Is it that only expensive cars need to be child safe?
All babies and children are precious and effectively all cars should have child seat anchorage. This fact should be highlighted in all brochures and advertisements!
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Old 3rd February 2011, 13:20   #11
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Smile Pregnancy and driving

Another important aspect of safety of a child in a car is when the baby is in the womb of the mother.

No matter what the stage of the pregnancy, it is vital that one should always wear a seat belt. By wearing a seat belt, the pregnant lady is protecting herself and her unborn baby in the event of a crash.


The seat belt should be worn comfortably and correctly with the lap part of the seat belt worn as low as possible, positioned below the baby. It should be over the upper thighs and across the pelvis. The sash part of the seat belt should pass above the abdominal bulge and between the breasts.
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Old 4th February 2011, 10:14   #12
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Smile Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

A very interesting response to the post. Apart from team-BHP, the other respondents have stayed abroad and thus understand the safety on the road. The reason is that Road Rules are well laid down and have to be followed according to the book in western countries. Huge fines and suspension of license results for defaulters.
In India, there is no written test to get a license nor is a driving test in most of the cities. States are not interested in laying down rules and implementing them. There is no national consensus on standardization of rules. Any bureaucrat or politician posted in transport and road safety ministry takes it to be a demotion!
I reckon because of poor governance and no sensitization of road safety, our public also looks at this aspect with disdain. A challan can be countered with some bribe. A challan is issued to take bribe.
The roads are also constructed without keeping in mind as to what are the requirements for road safety. Pavements are constructed not for pedestrians or users of wheel chairs, but for the shops to keep their goods on it or for 2 wheeler and cycle parking; this is if at all the pavements are constructed!
In a country where majority use cycles for transport, there are no rules for them. The cyclist does not wear a helmet nor has a light on the cycle. The use of clothes and stickers which light up at night is negligible - not that it will cost much. It is the lack of knowledge because of very poor governance about road safety.
I hope we as readers should wake up and contribute in this discussion for us to have enough incentive to think of doing more than just blogging! Perhaps We Will find a Way!
Any views on using a mobile phone while driving?
In the photographs, there are two which show how things can be - cyclists wearing helmets and a road showing a pavement and a person on a wheelchair! I am very sure these standards can be achieved in India; the government has to show a will and direction. Joints like Macdonalds and Pizza Hut have maintained international standards even in India - they had the resolve to do it!
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Old 4th February 2011, 11:58   #13
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
couple things:
2. make sure the seat is well latched. We had an incident when my son unclicked the seat (it was attached using the adult seat belt, as recommended by the manufacturer) and he went forward with the seat attached to him when i braked hard. Now I use top tether in addition to the regular seat belt so it never happens again.
What is a top tether and how does it function? It would also be helpful if someone could put up pics of how to correctly install a child car seat (like the very detailed thread on how to replace a tyre)
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Old 4th February 2011, 13:24   #14
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

I will try to get some pictures!

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
What is a top tether and how does it function? It would also be helpful if someone could put up pics of how to correctly install a child car seat (like the very detailed thread on how to replace a tyre)

Last edited by rkap01 : 4th February 2011 at 13:32.
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Old 4th February 2011, 13:53   #15
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Default Re: Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads

This is a good site to know the basics of child restraint

Tips & Tools | SeatCheck.org
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