Parents, do you often use taxis or ride-hailing apps when getting around with your kids? If so, it’s time to consider using GrabFamily, and here’s why.
Did you know that it is illegal in Singapore – not to mention, unsafe – for kids below 1.35m to travel in a car without a suitable booster seat or proper child restraint? Kids of parents who drive probably have had their own child car seats since they were wee infants. But what about those who use private car-hiring services like GrabCar?
(See also: Child in Car? Use a Car Seat)
While most parents agree that child seats should always be used while in a car, less than 10 per cent bring their own booster seat or safety restraints when they’re out and about. And who can blame them? Juggling diaper bags, school bags, shopping bags, strollers, and not to mention keeping track of the kids themselves – who would add a bulky car seat to that list?!
So when I heard that ride-hailing platform Grab had the answer to this problem, it was with eager anticipation that I headed to the media launch of GrabFamily at lunchtime yesterday.
Here are my findings, presented in a simple FAQ:
1. What is GrabFamily?
It is billed as the first child-friendly private-hire car fleet in South-east Asia that is equipped with child booster seats. Each GrabFamily ride comes with an exclusive Grab-branded mifold (pronounced ‘My Fold’) Grab-and-Go car booster seat.
Fun fact #1: The mifold was branded Grab-and-Go long before its tie-up with Grab. Was it fate?
2. What age group is the mifold car booster seat suitable for?
The mifold is designed for children between 1.0m and 1.35m tall, weighing from 15 to 36kg. Children aged four to seven years old typically fall into this category.
3. What if my child is only two years old and shorter than one metre in height?
Unfortunately, parents of babies and toddlers are advised to bring your own child car seat as of now. This is because there isn’t a product that is ideal. Also, surveys have shown that younger children often refuse to be strapped into an unfamiliar child car seat, leading to a stressful ride for everyone.
(See also: Shopping For A Child Car Seat)
4. Will Grab be introducing baby car seats in the future?
Grab requires child car seats to be intuitive for drivers and parents to use, compatible with different car models and offer adequate protection. Still, we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Head of GrabCar Singapore, Andrew Chan, shared this piece of good news: “It’s in the pipeline. We are working with local polytechnics and universities to design the perfect child car seat for younger ones.”
Fun fact #2: Andrew is a father of two kids, aged five and two. They inspired him to make GrabFamily a reality!
5. How many GrabFamily drivers are out there?
As of today, there are over 1,000 GrabCar drivers on our streets serving GrabFamily bookings. This number is set to grow exponentially, and all GrabCars will be equipped with one mifold booster seat by mid-2017, if not before.
6. What if I have more than one child who needs a booster seat?
Right now, the goal is to place one mifold booster seat into every GrabCar. Once that is achieved, drivers can potentially opt to carry more than one mifold booster seat. In the meantime, parents can consider purchasing their own mifold (available online and at the usual retailers like Mothercare), which is compact enough to carry around easily.
7. What else makes GrabFamily the safer option?
Apart from receiving training on how to use the mifold, GrabFamily drivers are also CPR and First-Aid certified. In fact, all GrabCar drivers are progressively being given CPR and First-Aid training and certification.
8. Does it cost more to hire GrabFamily?
It costs just $2 more than a regular GrabCar. I think it’s a low price to pay for our children’s safety, don’t you?
Psst! To get you started, Grab is waiving off the $2 surcharge for five GrabFamily rides from now till 31 March, 2017. Just launch the Grab app as usual, tap on the GrabFamily icon and enter the promo code “FAMILY” when you book.
9. If all GrabCars are going to be equipped with the mifold car booster seat, then why should I continue to pay extra for GrabFamily?
According to Andrew, choosing GrabFamily gives drivers the heads-up, so they can get the mifold ready in advance. This is especially important if your pick-up location does not allow for the time it would take to install the mifold and get your child strapped in safely.
At this point, it was time to see how the mifold works with my own eyes. Its inventor, Jon Sumroy, CEO of Carfoldio Ltd, demonstrated how easy it is to set it up, and buckle your child in and out. Gamely stepping up to assist him in the demo was five-year-old Gregory, Andrew’s adorable son, who quickly stole all the limelight.
10. So what’s so special about the mifold Grab-and-Go car booster seat?
What truly sets it apart is that the mifold is 10 times smaller than any conventional booster seat on the market, yet just as safe. It even fits in Daddy’s back pocket, Mummy’s handbag or Junior’s little backpack!
11. How can something so small work as a booster seat then?
Well, rather than a conventional booster seat that ‘lifts’ your child to be in the position of an adult, the mifold cinches the seat belt down to fit your child instead. It is also adjustable, so you don’t need to get a bigger one every so often.
12. With so many different kids using the booster seat, how do I know it’s sanitary for my child?
The mifold is made of easy-to-clean yet durable state-of-the-art materials. It also stays cool even on a hot day, making it hygienic for sharing. GrabFamily drivers are also reminded to keep the mifold clean as part of their training.
Here’s a video about the mifold Grab-and-Go car booster seat:
Mums and dads, if you have any questions about GrabFamily or the mifold Grab-and-Go car booster seat that were not answered above, please leave a comment below and I’ll help find out the answer if I can!
Images courtesy of Grab Singapore