Child Passenger Safety week runs internationally from the 9th to the 16th of September, drawing attention to the importance of our children’s safety in motor vehicles in South Africa.
According to Arrive Alive, local studies have shown that only 7% of South African children are secured in their car sear when travelling on our roads. This has resulted in 1000s of horrific deaths every year. South African law states that all children under the age of 3 years need to be securely strapped into a car seat, however, a shocking 93% of motorists and public transportation services disregard this law, which is not effectively enforce by local and national police.
Children below 150cm should be using booster seats, this ensures that the seatbelt crosses the child correctly across their hips and chest. Regular seatbelts will cross children below 150cm on their abdomen and neck and this can result in fatal injury should the vehicle be involved in an accident.
Here are some tips to ensure your children are safe when traveling:
1. Always use a car seat, even on short trips.
Accidents can happen, even when traveling short distances.
2. Avoid second hand car seats.
You never know if a second hand car seat may have been involved in an accident or if it has missing pieces. Its not worth the risk.
3. Use the correct size car seat.
Its best to buy a car seat for your child’s current height and weight and then size up as the child grows.
4. Ensure that the car seats are installed correctly.
Remember: a baby car seat must always be rear facing.
5. Take off any thick clothing.
Thick clothing such as jackets and coats can make the harness less effective. If your child is cold use a blanket over the harness.
6. Be aware of activated frontal airbags.
The safest place for a baby car seat is on the back seat.
For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week please click here.