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Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddlers

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Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddlers

Postby funkyjojo » 05 Jan 2011, 11:28

[OT from 'seatbelts in taxis']

Anyone know some good tips on how to travel safely with a baby on the bus? Or if it is at all possible (safely that is~)?

In a carrier is not assumed safe in sudden stops or crashes I'd say, as baby could be projectiled out of it or injured by you.

In a stroller - same issue (projectiled and crushed by those around), plus the issue of actually getting the stroller on the bus.

Carseat seems unlikely right (seatbelt issue)? I guess long- and short-distance should be considered separately, as come to think of it some of the long-distance busses you could strap a carseat into a seatbelt (some of the seats usually have them - the ones that don't have other seats in front of them). For city busses though, I don't see it as likely.

Any ideas, experiences, or pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddle

Postby Dragonbones » 05 Jan 2011, 12:16

Just thinking aloud on the topic here, not speaking from experience. Please feel free to disagree or correct me:

I doubt you can reach the safety levels of, say, the proper car seat. The most likely risks are the drivers who frequently start up with a jolt before you're seated, the need to move toward the door while the bus is still moving, and of course (but less often) the kind of sudden stop or minor crash that sends standing passengers sprawling, in which case of course you don't want to be one of the people standing and casually hanging onto something with one hand (or none), and you don't want to just be holding baby in your arm or arms. You want to be sitting properly, and not in one of the seats with nothing in front of it.

I presume you would want the baby in a carrier strapped to your torso, and if a seat belt compatible with that is available, use it. Some of the seats allow you to brace your feet against the back edge of a wheel well. I imagine that provides more stability.

Try to plan so you do not carry too many things, so that your hands are free to grab onto supports when walking through the bus, and keep your center of gravity low if possible. Try to sit near the door so you can remain seated until the bus actually stops. If you have to stand momentarily (while moving to or from the seat, or waiting for the bus to stop so you can get off), be sure to grab onto supports with both hands (it's amazing how many people don't). Grab fixed objects like seat back or side handles and vertical poles, not the rings that sway, or hold two rings at once so that each is already pulled to its limit, providing more stability.

When on your feet, keep your knees slightly bent and your feet a bit apart, with one a bit forward of you, pointing forward, and another pointing at a side angle, for stability in both directions. I do this all the time when riding the bus and can handle the lurching motion of the bus much better, but I see many people standing with straight, stiff legs and locked knees, feet together. They're more likely than me to be sent flying if the driver really jams on the brakes.

Other than that, I think avoiding the bus is going to be safest; try to use the MRT (with some of the same points applicable there), take the bus only as far as you need to to get to the MRT, etc. As for us, we're shopping for a car so that we can have a properly installed seat for the baby.
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Re: Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddle

Postby divea » 05 Jan 2011, 13:18

I have taken buses with a 6 m/o and a toddler by my side, for the next 2 years. No issues. I have never met a rude driver, we never got jerked around, if it the bus was crowded, I'd just signal (read yell) to the driver to wait for me to alight. On the seats, my baby was always in the sling and surprisingly I have used the seat belts on the first seat of the buses for my older one. Oh and I always had a big diaper bag.

Drivers always waited for me to be seated.....maybe I was just lucky, or was not too imaginative about impending perils. Heck! I have even breast fed my baby on the bus, again no issues. People always gave me seats or at least always accommodated my toddler. For a play date, I used to go in a bus when the kids were fresh and take a taxi back.
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Re: Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddle

Postby sandman » 05 Jan 2011, 13:28

divea wrote:I have taken buses with a 6 m/o and a toddler by my side, for the next 2 years. No issues. I have never met a rude driver, we never got jerked around, if it the bus was crowded, I'd just signal (read yell) to the driver to wait for me to alight. On the seats, my baby was always in the sling and surprisingly I have used the seat belts on the first seat of the buses for my older one. Oh and I always had a big diaper bag.

Drivers always waited for me to be seated.....maybe I was just lucky, or was not too imaginative about impending perils. Heck! I have even breast fed my baby on the bus, again no issues. People always gave me seats or at least always accommodated my toddler. For a play date, I used to go in a bus when the kids were fresh and take a taxi back.

I concur with Divea. I take the bus with the halfcaste on occasion and the driver has always waited for me to strap the kid into the front seat (the new buses seems to have belts on ALL the seats these days, too). He has always asked "ke-yi ma?" before he starts the bus moving, too. Often, he'll also stop other passengers from pushing past me to get off while I unstrap the kid. No issues. Easy peasy. I admit I have never breastfed on the bus, but that's only because nobody has ever agreed to let me suckle them. Women! I swear I'll never understand them.
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Re: Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddle

Postby asiababy » 05 Jan 2011, 20:31

Safety on the city bus here was never an issue for me. Mine was getting to the busstop without the stroller, with a toddler and baby (I didn't have a bus-friendly stroller, ie my stroller was really hard to fold up in a way to get up stairs easily). I see parents carry the stroller onto the bus with the kids still inside, but I could never master that.

At home, we put our kids in carseats for long-distance travel and it was great as they would fall asleep and their heads would not roll over the place like they do without a carseat.
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Re: Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddle

Postby funkyjojo » 06 Jan 2011, 09:55

Thanks for the tips and thoughts and experiences.

I guess the whole 'kids in taxi' discussion got me thinking too much. Traffic's usually too jammed to be going at any fast speed on the city busses in Hsinchu anyhow (I'm assuming...only city busses I've taken are up in Taipei, and that was over 5 years ago - ever since then it's been scooteriffic other than long-distance busses and THSR suttles).
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Re: Question on bus-travelling safety with babies and toddle

Postby Icon » 06 Jan 2011, 10:22

A quick look in the MRT reveals people brace the stroller against the poles, like bikes. On buses, they carry the baby in their arms and fold the stroller.

In civilian vehicles, babies ride shotgun. (Facepalmslap!)
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