Car seats are a must from birth up to age 9, but only 7% of SA's kids are secured

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A good booster seat offers side protection in the event of a crash. (SolStock/Getty Image)
A good booster seat offers side protection in the event of a crash. (SolStock/Getty Image)

Child passenger safety is in the spotlight this September through the child passenger safety campaign to educate parents and create awareness on the various aspects of their children’s safety in vehicles on South African roads.

Although strapping in children is the law and many parents are aware of the importance of car seats, a common mistake is to move their child from their front-facing seat to a normal car seat and seatbelt, thinking that they’ve outgrown the need for car seats.

Seatbelts are for adults

According to Mohammed Kaka, National Sales Manager of Maxi-Cosi, what’s happening is people don’t understand the reality of the situation when travelling with children in their vehicle and how their bodies are affected by even small accidents.

If you’re still unsure, here are three (very good reasons) why children that have outgrown their car seats still need to be in booster seats.The truth is that seat belts are designed to fit adult bodies don't offer the protection children need.

"When travelling in a vehicle, any passenger under 1.5m tall is not catered for in terms of safety," Kaka warns.

ALSO READ | How to ensure your child is safe in your car

Car seats by age group 

The 1.5m limit has essentially been broken down into three categories based on the physical and physiological capability of the child, if a collision occurs, in terms of what could happen their bodies.

Your first grouping of car seats is from birth up until about 15 months. The second grouping, which overlaps the first, is basically from 12 months up until four years.

The third group, and one often skipped by parents, is from three and a half (3.5) years up to nine (9) years. This is typically referred to as the booster seat. This seat utilises the normal seatbelt of the vehicle but the booster functionality prevents the actual seatbelt of the vehicle from cutting across the child’s neck and abdomen area.

A stage that should not be skipped!  Booster seats offer real protection for big kidsSouth Africa has a very high mortality rate for children under the age of nine travelling in vehicles and booster seats can save lives.

According to Kaka, a booster seat places the seatbelt of the vehicle over the hips of the child and on the shoulder of the child.

A good booster seat also offers side protection in the event of a crash and prevents internal injuries over the abdomen area of the neck area.

Seat up and be safe! 

Submitted to Parent24 by Maxi-Cosi. 

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