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Car Seats and Slings

  1. #1
    ShannonWagstaff is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Discovery Bay

    Car Seats and Slings

    I live in DB, and there will be times when I will need to transport a new baby by car on HK Island. I am wondering what other parents do in terms of car safety?
    My understanding is that you cannot simply strap a car seat into a taxi (no access to the right anchor points?)
    Do you use a baby sling/carrier? We are particularly interested in baby slings for smaller babies (it seems that for most carriers, the baby needs to be over 8 pounds?) - perhaps this is the safest way to transport a newborn? (Say from the hospital to the ferry?)
    Any recommendations appreciated!

  2. #2
    JennyB is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Discovery Bay
    There have been earlier threads on this topic:

    Car Seats

    and for older babies:

    Child's (Taxi) Seat Belt Vest

    Basically the reason why in many Western countries special car seats are mandatory for babies is that they are much safer than anything else. The only other safe alternative approved in the UK is a carry-cot that can be strapped onto the back seat (not sure if this is available in HK). If you don't want to lug a car seat or carry-cot around, you are compromising on safety. Other solutions won't help you much in a head-on collision, and things like the Baby Bjorn carrier could actually make things worse in such a situation, because the baby's head is just below your chin and your head could slam into the baby's.

    By strapping the baby to your body, the main risk you are cutting down is the danger of your baby slipping out of your arms in a sudden braking situation, which is obviously much more common than a full-on collision. The most important thing to remember is never put the seatbelt around the baby. Many people's instincts would be to do this, but all you would be doing is crushing the baby with your bodyweight against the seatbelt. Put the seatbelt around your body, underneath/behind the baby. (You may need to weave it between the carrier's straps to do this.) And I'm no expert on safety but I reckon that slings (where the baby's body is held somewhat horizontally) may be safer than upright carriers because the baby's head will be further away from your chin. You can buy Maya Wrap slings through La Leche League in Hong Kong:

    BTW most people leave hospitals with their babies loose in their arms here, and I was advised to do this by nurses! Safety awareness here is quite low. I think the safest alternative to a car seat might be a carry-cot (which you can also use as a bassinet at home, and some stroller systems come with a carrycot for newborns), stowed on the floor of the taxi if it's not designed to be strapped into seatbelts, because if there is an impact or sudden braking then the baby would most likely be thrown upwards towards the padded back of the seat in front, better than some other scenarios.

    Sorry if this message is a bit gruesome. Most people relax their safety ideals a little in Hong Kong because the alternatives are too impractical, and the chances of a serious accident are so slim. The fact that traffic speeds are normally fairly low must reduce the risk of serious accidents, and we Islands residents spend so few hours per week in cars/taxis that we would have to be incredibly unlucky for something bad to happen to us.
    Last edited by JennyB; 05-03-2005 at 09:17 PM.

  3. #3
    ZoeG is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Britax Rock-a-tot

    I use both a sling and a Britax Rock-a-tot car seat when taking taxis with my little one. I've found that most taxi drivers are prepared to wait while I strap in the seat - it's pretty easy as the waist belt goes across the seat and the body belt goes around the back of the car seat. It helps if you actually fix the seat in before you get in the taxi, so they can't drive off! A bit difficult if you just hail a taxi in the street, but OK if you're leaving from a apartment block or taxi rank.

  4. #4
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong
    When I traveled with my baby in a taxi I used an over the shoulder sling (like the original baby sling or mayawrap sling). I know that this wasn’t the safest way to travel but it seemed better than just having her in my arms.

    I would have the sling on my left shoulder and sit on the left in the taxi. That way the seat belt could go under the sling. I pulled the sling as tight as I could get it so that the baby was up against my body.

    I’m sure that if we’d been in a real crash this would not have been enough. But it helped on two occasions when my taxi braked really quickly as the seat belt worked and the baby stayed safe with me.

    I know that Hong Kong isn’t as safety conscious about this as other countries but what happens overseas when a baby is in a taxi?

    Best wishes,

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