Child passenger safety week

Child passenger safety week runs internationally from 17 – 23 September.

We’ve come a long way in understanding the need to safely transport our babies and children over the years.

From baskets and plastic chairs losely attached to our modern day, safety tested car seats….parents are now educated and informed enough to make the right choices for their precious cargo.

Why your child needs a car seat

Keeping your child in their car seat is essential, but do you know why?

An adult holding a baby or a child in their arms provides absolutely no protection in the event of a car accident.

In a crash at a speed of only 50km/h, your child’s body weight is increased by around 30 times. For example, if your child weighs 30 kg; they turn into a projectile weighing a ton. Due to this, at the point of impact, no-one will be capable of restraining them.

Its stated that the strength of impact is equivalent to falling 3 stories.

In 2021, more than a third of passengers under 13 who died in car accidents were unrestrained. We also know that every 25 seconds, a child in South Africa is involved in a car crash and, when correctly used 71% of the time a child safety seat can reduce the risk of fatal injury.

This is why it is important to use a car seat.

How to choose a car seat

There are many good car seats on the market and it is important to do your research when choosing the right car seat for your child and car.

Here are some important guidelines to look out for :

  • A car seat should fit your child’s height; weight and size.
  • Choose the correct seat for your child’s age ( baby seat; toddler seat; booster seat)
  • Extra padding offers extra comfort- especially on long drives.
  • Easy installation- no one wants to struggle for hours to insert a car chair.

When to move your child to another car seat

It’s recommended to keep a child rear facing for as long as possible as it protects your child’s neck; spine and head.

It’s also important to know that many older children still need a booster seat.

When using a seat belt, for a booster seat or when your child is old enough to sit flat on the back seat, the seat belt needs to lie flat against your childs chest, on the bony part of the neck, and low on the hips or thighs to keep them secure.

Children are required by law to ride in the back of a vehicle until the age of 13 and car seats can not be in the front passenger seat.

Important things to remember

Not every child loves sitting in their car seat, many parents battle tears and tantrums before ever car ride, but it is vital to buckle a child before every ride; no matter how short the trip.

If you lead by example, your child will soon learn to buckle up without fuss.

If you are not sure whether your child is in the right seat or if your seat is installed correctly, consult an expert.

Let’s work together to keep our kiddies safe.


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