The world has become quite a scary place. Things have changed so much – especially during the last couple of years. This includes the way that people drive on the road. The statistics for road accidents in South Africa is shocking!
With only 15% of South African children strapped in safely when being transported in passenger vehicles on our roads, the chances are that there IS somebody in your network that is contributing to the terrifying 85% of children who are not.
Did you know?
Head injuries are the most common injuries sustained by children in motor vehicle crashes regardless of age, restraint, and crash direction.
For the last month, I’ve shared several posts on social media about #CarseatFullstop. I’m sure many of you may have gotten annoyed with it and thought that I was “spamming” you but the truth is I was sharing it for a reason.
I wanted you to read about what is happening in our country! I wanted you to be aware of how one simple mistake could risk your child’s life.
Many South African’s don’t take the use of car seats seriously! It is a topic that is not discussed enough in the country.
#CarseatFullstop was created by local Cape Town mom, Mandy Lee Miller who spent hours and hours on this putting together a message that she believes will make a difference in our country. “You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. Saves a lot of lives, if you consider what is left of a family after losing a child.” says Mandy.
The campaign goal is to raise awareness of the importance of car seats and safe usage of car seats. For more information, visit www.carseatfullstop.org.
To be honest, I was one of those moms that never took car seats seriously until my daughter was a year old! I thought it was too expensive to purchase and uncomfortable, because every time I buckled up my daughter, she cried blue murder. But I never thought about the reality of driving without a car seat until I came across an article that made the hairs on my body stand up. It was about a baby (my daughter’s age) who flew out of a vehicle during an accident and died immediately on impact.
It made me stop and think about my selfish actions. It could have been my daughter!
That one article changed my entire mindset about car seats! I decided to start researching the different brands available and the reason for their pricing. It’s so important, especially as a first-time parent, to research products before you purchase. You need to ask questions! Lots of them!
1. The lifespan of a car seat
According to SA car seat expert Peggie Mars, there is no evidence that car seats actually expire, there are definitely parts of the seat that can perish, age or wear away. They may also become obsolete with new safety discoveries. To be safe, you should steer clear of a seat that is older than around 5 years.
2. There are different kinds of car seats available.
3. The ISOFIX
Isofix is the standard system for all new cars and car seat manufacturers, designed to make installing your child safety seat quick and easy. I highly recommend buying the Isofix base – it is so much more convenient.
4. Head and Side Impact Protection
Many car seats come with foam head and side impact protection. This addition is extremely important because the foam sides encompass the little one’s head, cushioning them from much of the dangerous force released during an auto accident.
5. Rear-Facing rule
This has been stressed in articles that I’ve shared recently but I would like to emphasize it again. Don’t turn your child’s car seat too soon! It is safe for them to remain rear-facing for as long as possible.
6. Your Child’s jacket Can Make the Car Seat Unsafe
The bulky fabric can prevent the car seat straps from sitting tightly against your child’s body. In the event of an impact, the extra slack will mean that the child isn’t completely contained.
Rather add a blanket over your child after strapping him/her in.
Remember: When purchasing second-hand car seats, you need to do a proper check and find out if the car seat was involved in an accident.
The Common fitting problems with baby and child car seats:
1. Twisted seatbelts.
2. Loose harnesses.
3. Not all Isofix points being connected.
4. Seatbelts sitting incorrectly on your child.
There’s so much to talk about when it comes to car seats and car safety. This is a topic that I plan on writing a lot more about.
Help me share the word. Together let us share our experiences and make a difference.
It’s not about you being a safe driver. Accidents are not planned, and every driver knows that you seem to have to drive – not only for yourself – but for everyone else on the road. Let us rather be safe than sorry.
#CarseatFullstop. No ifs or buts. Every child in a car seat every time no matter what.
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