Belt up – the kids too

All too often young children are seen standing up on the front or back seat of Mom or Dad’s car. “Oh we were just going down the road” is the justification but we all know, you cannot choose when or where you will have an accident.

Well known Cape St Francis resident, swimmer, runner, Mom and marketing manager at Brands Africa recently gave a talk on Algoa FM Radio last Tuesday and St Francis Today asked if we could share the gist of her talk with the St Francis community in the hope that maybe we can stop those irresponsible parents who continue choose to ignore the very real dangers.

Child Passenger Safety Week takes place in the USA and the UK every year however South Africa has never focussed on this important campaign. Maxi-Cosi South Africa who are the leading manufacturer of some of the safest car seats globally, decided that it was time that South African parents started focussing on the safety of their children in their vehicles.

Only 7% of children are put in child car seats in South Africa, resulting in 1000’s of horrific deaths every year. This could easily be avoided if they had been securely strapped into a car seat that had gone through sufficient crash testing. The current law in South Africa states that every child under 3 years old should be securely fastened into a car seat. As we are all well aware, this certainly is not adhered to by many parents and is clearly not enforced by our law enforcement.

Our aim is to educate the South African public who may be unaware of the dangers of travelling in their vehicle with their children only secured by a seatbelt. Seatbelt’s are manufactured to protect people who are 150cm or taller in height. If a seatbelt is used by anyone under this specific height, it can actually cause even more harm. Major vascular damage and internal organ damage could occur if one was involved in an accident as the belt does not sit correctly on their shoulder or hips. Parents should consider their car seat as one of the most important purchases prior to having their child and should know that they need to invest in car seats from birth up until the 150cm milestone.

If parents do strap their children into a car seat, they also need to ensure that the seat they are using has had sufficient and stringent crash testing performed. It is preferable they consider car seats that have undergone independent crash testing and should query the crash testing results upon their purchase. If a parent drives a vehicle with airbags and considers their safety as utmost importance, surely their child’s life should also be protected sufficiently?

For more on keeping children safe in moving vehicles give Lorrin a call on 082 388 6213 or read the attached document on Child Passenger Safety Week 2019