S'porean man asked hawkers for knife to cut entangled seat belt suffocating his daughter

Seat belts aren't always safe.

Fasiha Nazren | September 24, 2018, 06:53 PM

[UPDATE: 24 Sept, 10.48pm] The author of the Facebook post has come forward to share that the incident happened as their daughter was playing with the unbuckled seat belt while the car was still stationary.

He stressed that his intention behind this post was to share with the public to inform their kids that a seat belt isn't a toy and children shouldn't be left unattended or unsupervised in a car.

If you're a parent who drives, seat belts are supposed to give you a peace of mind, while your little ones are in the back of the car.

For one Singaporean father, however, a seat belt brought more harm than good.

Weekend spent at KK Hospital

It was supposed to be a fun-filled weekend for the family of four, which includes his wife and two young daughters.

But they somehow ended up spending it in KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

Here's what happened:

  • The father was driving his family to Adam Road Food Centre to get some food to bring to a party.
  • While waiting for a parking lot, his seven-year-old daughter was trying to call out to her older sister for help.
  • The seven-year-old was apparently asking for help as she had her neck trapped on the tightened seat belt.


Seat belt set on automatic locking mode

According to the man, his wife then went to the back seat to try to save their daughter while he stopped the car.

However, the seat belt was set on the automatic locking retractor (ALR) mode.

In case you didn't know, ALR mode means that the seat belt will not extend when pulled and can only get tighter.

Face turned blue

Despite their many attempts, the man and his wife simply couldn't undo their daughter's seat belt.

After a while, her face turned blue and she stopped crying.

"Her face started (to) become blue, she then stopped crying, she passed urine and were having difficulty to breathe and we just couldn't do anything about it right in front of our eyes sitting on my wife's lap."

Asked for knife from hawkers

Panicking for his daughter's life, he mentioned that he ran to the hawker stalls asking for a knife to cut off the seat belt.

It was a futile effort at first:

"In a panic mode trying my best efforts to ask and explain, the first shop I went was not a sucess as they might be thinking as if I was going to kill someone when I asked for a knife in panic and rush."

Eventually, he managed to get the next hawker he asked to lend him a knife.

He then ran over to his car to cut the seat belt from further strangling his daughter's neck.

Helped by surrounding people

Thankfully, the daughter gained consciousness and was helped by many people.

"An uncle around gave her a water to drink and thankfully, she started to collect herself and (is) recovering."

An ambulance was also called in by a passer-by and arrived after 10 to 15 minutes.

Marks on face and neck

After the medics assessed his daughter's condition, they found that seemed "normal and was stabilising".

The girl was left with some marks on her face and neck.

However, the family was assured by a doctor that the marks will disappear over time.

Anyone below 1.35m requires adjustable seat belt

According to the Road Traffic Act, all persons travelling in vehicles, irrespective of their age, should be appropriately belted up.

Adults below the height of 1.35m will have to use booster seats or approved adjustable seat belts to lower the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

As a guideline, when wearing a seat belt, the shoulder component of the belt should go over the torso (and not across the face or neck) and the lap component of the belt should ride across the lap (and not across the abdomen).