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WHAT IF I’M TRAVELING BY TAXI WITH A CHILD YOUNGER THAN 3?

Unfortunately, in some places it is not uncommon for moms to strap themselves and their young children into the same seat belt when riding in taxis. We are sure the logic is something like, “they are safer in the seat belt with me than being without a seat belt at all and the seat belt doesn’t even come close to fitting them right when they use it by them self.”

  • In most places around the world, taxis and car services are exempt from any child seat laws that may be in place for the private person.
  • Strapping yourself in with a child is a very dangerous practice and is not recommended. Here is why:
    • In a car crash the formula we use to estimate how much force is required to restrain the occupant is Speed X Weight = Restraining Force.
    • If you, as the mother, weigh just 125lbs (55kg) and are in a 10mph (16 kph) crash (which is not very fast at all) it would require 1940lbs (880kg) of force to restrain you.
    • That force is applied to you by the seat belt since the seat belt is what is holding you in place.
    • If there is a child between you and the seat belt then all of that force will be exerted on the child by your body. Not a good outcome for the child.
  • For an infant, use an infant carrier car seat that goes into a stroller (you are likely using anyway) and install the carrier in the taxi rear facing without the base. Never wear your infant with the seatbelt around both of you!
  • Better options for toddler aged children — aside from using a conventional car seat appropriate for your child’s age and weight which we recommend as the safest option but understand may not be a practical option when traveling by taxi. Here are some suggestions starting with the least safe option:
    • Putting the child in their own seat belt in the taxi next to you. At least they will have something but the lap part of the seat belt may cause abdominal injuries if is is a severe enough crash for them to slide under and out the bottom of the seat belt. Make sure to keep the shoulder belt in front of them, crossing their body as best you can make it fit. Sometimes sliding them all the way over toward were the buckle is helps with this.
    • The safest alternative to using a conventional seat would be using the RideSafer with the tether. We almost always recommend the RideSafer with a tether when we are talking about children at the low end of the age/size range especially of they are not even to reaching the lower limits set by the manufacturer. The reason for this is that you have the protection of the 3 points provided by the seat belt and two additional points of contact and restraint, one at each shoulder which also offer additional upper body restraint and support to keep the child in proper position. We understand that if you will be traveling exclusively by taxi it may not be practical to use the tethering option provide with the RideSafer but we do like parents to have the option.

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