Parents should welcome change to car-seat safety

As we head off for the long Easter weekend, make sure your child is buckled-up in an approariate child car safety seat or face the penalties. Cute Baby in collaboration with Maxi-Cosi South Africa, will be highlighting the topic of car-seat safety throughout April. Please share these articles so that parents are educated about this change.

The danger of driving on South African roads dictates the need for parents taking every precaution to protect the lives of young children, by strapping precious little ones in appropriate child car safety seats, when they are in a moving vehicle.

Sobering statistics and a growing body of research highlight the need for parents to become aware that car seats for children offers the best protection and reduces the chance of sustaining fatal injuries. This is responsible parenting when children, who can’t protect themselves, look to their parents to do so.

Amended legislation that comes into effect from the end of April 2015, published by the South African Department of Transport, aimed at protecting our children on the road, should be applauded.

Amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations 2000 under the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 makes provision for children, under the age of three, to be suitably secured in safety seats, or the use of booster seats for children who have outgrown the car seats.baby-car-seat-120807

 “As of April 30, it will be illegal for a child in this age group to be sitting on a lap, standing or sitting unrestrained while travelling in a car,” Department of Transport spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said on Monday.

Car crash statistics tell a sad tale

According to the Medical Research Council, the number one cause of death of children under the age of 12 is due to road accidents. Many of these children were not secured adequately. Almost 2,000 children lose their lives, each year, in a road fatalities incidents.

 

Head of trauma at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, Prof Sebastian van As, sees at the hospital between 200 to 300 children each year admitted for injuries sustained in car crashes, with a significant number of these being cases of head trauma.

What does a car safety seat do?

It is critical that newborn babies and young children up to 36kg (roughly 8 to 10 years of age) are suitable strapped into car safety seats or booster seats.

A child should be placed in a rearward facing car-seat for as long as possible as this is the safest position to be in whilst travelling in a vehicle.

The head of an infant is approximately a third of its body weight and very flexible. Even a slight impact can have a substantial effect on the skull.

A properly installed car seat will keep your child from being flung about or ejecting through the car, and reduces the severity of potential injuries sustained. A normal seatbelt offers inadequate protection for a young child as it is designed mainly for adult use.

Next Week: New car-seats vs used models.

To highlight our support with this change in legislation, Cute Baby SA and Maxi-Cosi SA will be giving the WINNER of our April competition a Maxi-Cosi Tobi car-seat (colour; confetti) valued at over R4,000.

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