Let’s talk about a sensitive subject, babies and golf carts. Can I safely have a baby on a golf cart?
I say sensitive because the beauty of owning a golf cart is the freedom it provides to do what you want on your own property so I wanted to provide a strictly objective view on the reasons why it’s OK and the reasons why it may not be OK. But to be direct with the answer…
As a general rule, it is safe to have a baby on a golf cart. However, it is wise to know the laws for your state in case an accident were to happen.
So in this blog post, let’s be objective and see what you need to know to make an informed decision about putting a small child on a golf cart.
What’s the Youngest Age to Ride in a Golf Cart Safely?
An infant (aged 12 months or fewer) is the youngest rider you can have on a golf cart. You can enhance the baby’s safety by modifying the cart and considering some external factors. Except in an accident, these rides typically do not pose real risks with their slow operations.
You can ensure a safe experience for your toddler (aged 1 to 3 years old) by considering a few factors and taking proper measures. For instance, you want to have a setting that enables you to care for your baby’s head and neck. It is essential to recall that babies younger than six months require special attention and care to stop their heads from bobbing around during the ride.
It is also necessary to note that a bumpy ride does not result in Shaken Baby Syndrome. This syndrome arises from shaking the infant with violent force or when the toddler hits against a hard surface. Even though a golf cart ride does not cause this syndrome, it is advisable to instruct your driver to proceed slowly. You also want your driver to avoid reckless maneuvers while your baby is an occupant.
Another measure to consider is ensuring the driver uses a pavement or golf track. The smooth routes enable you to avoid sudden swerving or braking, which generally occur on uneven terrains or steep hills. If you are the driver, you do not want to operate the cart on strong medications or under the influence.
A good recommendation is to pack lightly when a baby is part of your occupants in a golf cart. Overloading causes an imbalance that can easily cause the cart to lose its center of gravity and tip over in sharp or sudden swerves. You also want to ascertain you get the correct cart size to accommodate everyone safely when you have a large family. All occupants must fit in the cart without any limbs sticking out, since something might trap or hit them as you drive past.
Older than a Toddler?
Besides babies, teaching your kids’ basic safety rules is another quality measure you should consider when accompanied by family. You can instruct them always to have their feet on the floor and remain in their seats throughout the ride. This lesson is essential since children find it fun to ride a golf cart and easily move around in excitement.
It is also advisable to have your kids wear a bike helmet and protective pads during the ride on a golf cart. This measure offers added protection against concussion and other serious injuries in case of an accident and high-impact contact with the pavement.
Although infants are the youngest riders in a golf cart, some places do not permit kids below six years to get on the device. It is wise to verify with your local regulations to prevent legal issues in case of complications.
Whether your area allows babies to ride on a golf cart or has an age limit of 6, it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to ensure the child’s safety. Aside from using head protection techniques and talking to a driver, you can also use car seats for added baby safety.
Can You Put a Car Seat in a Golf Cart?
You can install a car seat directly if you own the cart and seek to take your young ones on family golf games. So, how can you set up the baby seat on a golf cart?
- First, you wear protective glasses before cutting a 0.5-inch section of wide plywood using a disk-shaped cutter. You use this portion as the foundation of the car seat, and thus you want its length to be similar to the forepart seat and a width of one foot. Next, you cut a 2-inch thick foam using a razor blade to match the board’s size.
- After this, you use spray glue to spray over the entire top of the plywood and attach the foam. Once the glue dries in around two minutes, cut a thick vinyl piece for your seat cover, intersecting the plywood edges by 3 inches. Lay the vinyl on the ground with the underside facing up. Follow this by putting the plywood in its middle with the foam against the vinyl.
- Afterward, fold one vinyl side up and attach it to the plywood using a big-size stapler. You can do the same thing for the opposite part of the vinyl before repeating it for the remaining two sides. You can follow the same guideline to make the car seat using plywood, foam, and vinyl. It is advisable to modify the backrest to a size that best fits your kid’s height. You can also make it the same size as the front seat if you already have a comfortable seat belt that perfectly secures the infant.
- After finishing the seat preparation, measure the bumper to the rear roof using a straight rod. Cut a couple of metal pipes to match the calculated length. Heat the marked section using a blazing torch to enable bending into the bumper and complete your car seat installation.
Notably, kids are more likely to fall from rear-facing seats in the cart. Unlike in a car, where the rear-facing style enhances safety, you achieve more safety by installing the car seat facing forward. Nevertheless, if your cart has ergonomic accessories to facilitate a secure and stable attachment, you can put the car seat in a rear-facing position.
Can You Add Seat Belts to a Golf Cart?
Although you can find some golf carts integrated with seat belts, most lack them and need customized installation. You can add seat belts to a cart within a short time by getting the right equipment and accessories. The tools necessary for the installation include an electrical drill, a 3/8 drive ratchet, wrenches, a seat belt bracket kit, and safety gear like gloves and goggles.
Installation involves lining up your seat belt bracket with the cart’s frame supporting it. Once you complete this step, securely attach the bracket in a fitting position using washers, bolts, and nuts.
Lastly, you can attach your seat belts to the stable brackets before adding the lock buckles in the inner mounting plates at the bottom of the brackets.
Seat belts enhance convenience and safety when riding a golf cart with a baby or young child. Besides belts, you want to teach your kids to hold on to the safety bars and armrests during a turn for added safety. You can check out some on Amazon by clicking here. The seatbelt helps keep them in place, whereas holding these features aids them in controlling body motion to prevent muscle strains or limbs swaying out of the cart.