Car Seat safety comes first!
I am already crying inside for the death toll on our roads this easter weekend to come, it seems to be getting worse over the years! Stories on the news of whole families dying in accidents and children ending up in ICU or dead. If you are traveling this weekend then PLEASE make sure that your children are properly strapped in. It is really not a chance you should be taking and in SA we actually have a law that states that all children under the age of 3 have to be strapped into car seats.
We did the #CarseatFullstop campaign a little while ago and spread the message far and wide about the in’s and out’s of car seat safety, here is a quick reminder of the shocking statistics and things you need to do to make sure your children are safe while traveling.
Scary car seat facts I bet you did not know!
- A seat belt is designed for an adult male of over 1.5m tall, for those smaller than that, the seat belt becomes an additional danger unless supported appropriately
- Car seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 % for infants and 54 % for toddlers
- Currently only 15% of South African children in cars are restrained; that is 85% of children who are not.
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.
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:
- The shoulder belt should sit exactly in the middle of the child’s shoulder
- The lap belt should sit low across the upper thighs of the child
- 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
- 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
- The child should be able to sit comfortably in that position, without moving, for as long as the car is in motion.
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.
Keep safe on the roads and strap your kids in! Share this important message with your friends and you could help save a little life this weekend!