Never too young or too old for proper car seat safety!!

I am now 40 weeks pregnant and expecting my tiny little newborn baby any time now. While I wait for her to be born I cant help but think how small and helpless she will be compared to my 3 and a half year old daughter who now seems so so grown up but also at the same time is still such a small and new little life.

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Our children are never too young or too old for us to make sure they are properly looked after and safe at all times. Car Seat safety is a big issue in our country and currently only 15% of children are properly strapped in while traveling, that leaves a VERY SCARY 85% of South African children not in a car seat or age appropriate restraint. I am still waiting to get a car seat for baby Violet so I understand the struggle and problems that mom’s that can not afford one have, but I have even gone and made sure that I can borrow an infant car seat from a friend until I get one because it is just too dangerous for a tiny baby.

Even tho our South African law states that children need to be in a car seat up until the age of 3, It is very important to continue using an age appropriate car seat, booster seat or restraint for as long as possible or until they properly outgrow the weight and height recommendations on the orange sticker on the car seat. I mean Zoe is almost 4 and I can not imagine just using a seat belt for her, It definitely does not fit or make sense. If your child is not the correct age to travel using the seat belt alone then the seat belt is actually more dangerous for them and can cause terrible harm if in an accident.

Proper car seat guide lines for different ages

If you are not sure how to decide or check if your child is ready to only use the seat belt then you can use the following guide lines to check:

  1. The shoulder belt should sit exactly in the middle of the child’s shoulder
  2. The lap belt should sit low across the upper thighs of the child
  3. The child’s back should be flush with the back rest of the car seat, with their bottom firmly where the back rest and seat meet
  4. While flush against the back rest, the knees should only bend past the edge of the seat and their feet should be flat on the floor
  5. The child should be able to sit comfortably in that position, without moving, for as long as the car is in motion.

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Also Remember to make sure that the straps on your child’s car seat are not tangled or twisted, that they are tight enough and there is no room in there for them to slip around. Rather have then tighter than loose because the force of impact can pull your child right out of their seat if the straps are not tight, also remember to take off any puffy jackets before strapping in because they create the illusion that the straps are tight when they actually are not and the jacket can act as a lubricant along with loose straps making it easier for the child to be flung out if you are in an accident

Look at how beautiful the new range of car seats from Volvo are!

Volvo car seats south africa

#CarseatFullstop is sponsored by Volvo Cars. You can download the free Children and Cars Manual HERE 

The Volvo Cars, Children and Cars manual has ALL the information you need about your children and proper car safety so do give it a read.

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1 Comment

  1. chrismari

    September 10, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Hi, I’m a carseat fanatic myself, and have had to import seats for both my kids. Carli is turning 3 tomorrow and 22kg. Joshua is 16months and weight 14kg. This means thar Carli (while being 2years old exceeded the max weight limit for 5point harness seats (which is 18kg in SA). I am not putting a 2 year old in a booster with a seatbelt as she was too young to sit properly without fiddling or climbing out of the belt and also too short for the belt to fit properly. I am 1.8m and hubby a head taller than me. How is it possible that the SA market doesnt cater for larger kids? They are not fat kids, just large but it makes it impossible to find a seat. The seats I’ve imported had a harness level of 35kg and a booster level of 45kg, meaning they will be able to be harnesses until well over 6years old. Joshua will be rear facing until 3 years old in his seat. Please lets start advocating for carseat suppliers to wake up and start providing seats that can hold heavier kids. Thanks for being an advocate for safety!!

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