Protect your child, use a baby seat and seatbelt
April 4, 2016
Until now, it has been compulsory for older children and adults to wear seatbelts in South Africa. However no-one took the appropriate safety measures for children under the age of 3 years or ensuring toddlers were properly buckled in. Parents were allowing children to sit, stand in the back and front seats with no safety measures being taken. The law also did not provide for this.
AMENDMENT OF THE ACT
The amendment to the National Road Traffic Act 1996 was effective April 2015. For all children under the age of six who are unable to secure their own safety, it is up to adults to ensure the child or children are buckled up. The new law includes minibus taxis.
Road accidents are the leading cause of injuries to under five year olds and the reason for this is that the children are not buckled up. Road traffic injuries accounted for the largest percentage of deaths in the preschool and school age groups.
REASONS FOR SERIOUSLY INJURIES OR DEATH IN CHILDREN
Children, at the time of the vehicle being involved in the accident, are flung through the window and are seriously injured (broken bones, brain damage, paralysis) as a result of some of the reasons below:
- children who are not buckled up in the front or back seats; or
- standing on the back seat; or
- standing in the front hanging onto the dashboard; or
- hanging between the driver and passenger seats; or
- babies whose carry chairs are not buckled in.
REDUCING THE RISK
Strapping babies into car seats reduces the risk of death in car crashes by 71%. A properly strapped in toddler reduces the risk of death in car crashes by 54%.
Booster seats along with a seatbelt reduce the risk of serious injury for children between 4 and 8 years by 45%.
BABY CAR SEATS OR BOOSTER CAR SEATS
The law requires that all small children up to the age of 3 years or under 21 kilograms should be strapped in using an approved baby car seat. Your child should be buckled up using the standard fitted restraints or seatbelts.
A booster seat or seat belt positioner must be used for children under the age of 12 in order for them to wear the seatbelt in the correct way.Booster seats are used to keep children safe and are used in the back seat only. Remember to choose the right seat for your child’s age and weight.
Children who weigh 18 kilograms or are at least one year of age, must be in a forward facing child safety chair on the back seat. All baby seats indicate the weight allowances of the baby.
Please ensure that you have the correct seat. As your children grows you will have to upgrade the seat according to weight.Toddler booster seats are safe and secure and allow the toddler to look out of the window. The booster care seats also make use of the car safety belt so be sure to fasten your child in properly.
Safe driving keep our children alive!
Please contact Sally Wardle – Tel : (011) 3721700 or Email : firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.