Child car seat safety - are you doing it right?

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children aged 14 and under…

There is no cargo more precious than our children, and child seat safety is our first point-of-call when making sure we’re keeping them safe. Using the correct car seat, (the correct way), can be a lifesaver so make sure your child is always strapped in an age and size-appropriate car seat or booster seat.

Arrive Alive notes that extensive research in the United States has been done on child seats and that South African parents can benefit from this valuable information.

“The leading role players in the world of Child Safety have been the US department of Transportation as well as the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. We would like to give recognition to these organisations for their inspiring efforts and for the information provided,” says Arrive Alive.

Also read: How to make travelling with kids easy 

Arrive Alive also notes that motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children aged 14 and under.

“Motor vehicle crashes are still taking children’s lives at an alarming rate. We know that correctly restraining them dramatically cuts their risk of injury and death,” said Dr. Martin Eichelberger, chief executive officer of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign in the USA. “No parent or caregiver wants a family vacation to end in a tragedy.”

Take a look at the infographic below to use as a guideline to using the right car seat, correctly:

Child safety seats and safety belts, when selected, installed and used correctly, can prevent injuries and save lives. According to Arrive Alive, families should practice the following safety tips on every ride:

  • Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip.
  • Children 12 and under should be properly restrained in a back seat. A back seat is generally the safest place for a child to ride. While air bags can save lives, kids riding in the front seat can be seriously injured or killed when an air bag comes out in a crash. Even with advanced air bags or no air bags, the back seat is safer for children.
  • Never put a rear-facing child in a front seat with an active frontal air bag.
  • Choose the right child safety seat or safety belt for your child’s size and age. Make sure you have the right seat for your child.
    • Infants should ride in rear-facing safety seats as long as possible, until they are at least 12 months old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
    • Children who are at least 1 year old, weigh 20 to 40 pounds and can no longer ride in rear-facing seats should ride in forward-facing child safety seats.
    • Children over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly, usually around age 8.
    • Once the vehicle safety belts fit children, both lap and shoulder belts should be used correctly.
  • Install and use your child safety seat or safety belt according to the manufacturer’s instructions and your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Ensure your child safety seat has not been recalled.

Source: Arrive Alive