Whether you’re popping around the corner to the shop, or heading off on the school run, car seats and seatbelts are essential to keep you and the kids safe while travelling
- Mortality rates for SA kids aged 0-4 and boys aged 5-14 as a result of car accidents are twice the global rate. Of the total car accident fatalities recorded in 2009, children aged 0-19 years made up 18.5% of the total (2 547) deaths.
- Road accidents are the second-highest cause of death in children under 5 in SA (after medical problems).
- Passenger deaths in children are the fourth-leading cause of unnatural deaths.
- Car safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and 54% for toddlers.
- Even in minor crashes, unrestrained children are thrown around inside the vehicles, injuring themselves and others. They could even be thrown from a car through a window.
- 23% of all deaths in children aged 5-14 are the result of injury from car accidents.
IMPORTANT CAR SAFETY TIPS
Kids under 13 should be properly restrained in the back seat. While air bags can save lives, children riding in the front can be seriously, even fatally, injured when an air bag activates in a crash.
- Never put a rear-facing child in a front seat with an active front air bag.
- Choose the right child-safety seat or safety belt for your child’s size and age.
- Infants can ride in rear-facing safety seats up to the age of 2.
- Children who are at least 2 years old and weigh less than 18kg should ride in forward-facing child safety seats.
- Children who weigh 18kg or a minimum of 15kg (for a tall, thin child), should be correctly secured in a booster seat or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly, usually around age 10.
Note: If you can donate a car seat, email [email protected] and they’ll see to it that it’s safety-checked and cleaned by Wheel Well before being passed on to a family that cannot afford one.