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Child safety: non-negotiable - Media

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Child safety: non-negotiable

Child safety is something that we should all take extremely seriously.

Child safety: non-negotiable

Child safety: non-negotiable

Child safety is something that we should all take extremely seriously. Global studies have shown how drastically injury and death rates can be reduced by correct child safety practises in cars: 'road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States, and child seats can reduce the risk of death by 71%, if used correctly.' (www.safekids.org) This is even true of accidents at low, urban speeds.

In South Africa, it is compulsory by law for all infants (children below the age of 3) to be strapped into a suitable car seat while travelling in a car. An exception to this law is made for fare-charging buses and minibuses. Unfortunately, the compliance rate in South Africa remains very low.

The law also states that rear-facing car seats must be used for infants who weigh less than 9kg.

With regards to the seat itself, the law stipulates that the seat must comply with the SABS 1340 standard specification, which identifies it as a child restraining device, and that it must be marked as certified or approved by the SABS.

Once a child is older than 3 years old, the law states that they must either be strapped into a child seat or booster seat if one is available, or with a seat belt at all times. A child is defined as between 3 and 14 years of age, and shorter than 1.5m.

It's also important that the driver of the vehicle be aware that it is his/her responsibility to ensure that these laws are adhered to, even if they are not the parent of the child they are transporting.

That is more or less where the law ends. What is interesting is that most vehicle safety authorities suggest that the law falls short, and that it is much safer to strap all children under 14 years/1.5m into car seats or booster seats. Yes, safety belts will keep a child safe to a certain degree, but seat belts are not as effective on children as they are on adults.

It is recommended that you keep your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible, and certainly until they are at least 2 years old. Once they have outgrown that, they should use a forward-facing seat with harness-type restraints until they outgrow this type of seat.

It is also recommended that booster seats are used by all children until they are tall enough to effectively be restrained by the seat belts (which is regarded as 1.5m).

Finally, all children should ride in the back seats of a car until they are at least 13 years old.

 

 

Child safety: non-negotiable

Child safety is something that we should all take extremely seriously. Global studies have shown how drastically injury and death rates can be reduced by correct child safety practises in cars: 'road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States, and child seats can reduce the risk of death by 71%, if used correctly.' (www.safekids.org) This is even true of accidents at low, urban speeds.

In South Africa, it is compulsory by law for all infants (children below the age of 3) to be strapped into a suitable car seat while travelling in a car. An exception to this law is made for fare-charging buses and minibuses. Unfortunately, the compliance rate in South Africa remains very low.

The law also states that rear-facing car seats must be used for infants who weigh less than 9kg.

With regards to the seat itself, the law stipulates that the seat must comply with the SABS 1340 standard specification, which identifies it as a child restraining device, and that it must be marked as certified or approved by the SABS.

Once a child is older than 3 years old, the law states that they must either be strapped into a child seat or booster seat if one is available, or with a seat belt at all times. A child is defined as between 3 and 14 years of age, and shorter than 1.5m.

It's also important that the driver of the vehicle be aware that it is his/her responsibility to ensure that these laws are adhered to, even if they are not the parent of the child they are transporting.

That is more or less where the law ends. What is interesting is that most vehicle safety authorities suggest that the law falls short, and that it is much safer to strap all children under 14 years/1.5m into car seats or booster seats. Yes, safety belts will keep a child safe to a certain degree, but seat belts are not as effective on children as they are on adults.

It is recommended that you keep your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible, and certainly until they are at least 2 years old. Once they have outgrown that, they should use a forward-facing seat with harness-type restraints until they outgrow this type of seat.

It is also recommended that booster seats are used by all children until they are tall enough to effectively be restrained by the seat belts (which is regarded as 1.5m).

Finally, all children should ride in the back seats of a car until they are at least 13 years old.