ER24 welcomes the new regulation to the National Road Traffic Act that aims to protect children by use of a child car seat.The use of a child car seat for all children under the age of three will be compulsory from May 1, 2015.Motorists that have children under the age of three unrestrained in a vehicle will be issued a fine. Several motorists still refuse to take seriously the constant warnings and calls by emergency services and authorities to have children properly restrained in vehicles.
On a daily basis while on the road you will find young children jumping on back seats, hanging out of windows and sitting on passenger’s laps. Upon speaking to parents some will tell you that they never grew up with child car seats and they survived. Parents may also tell you that their children do not like being restrained and cry constantly. Some parents insist you not tell them what to do with their children. Times have changed. The number of vehicles on the road today has increased drastically. With the number of cars,buses, bikes and other modes of transport we are surrounded by everyday and the number of distractions on the road, there is no better and safer option but to have your child restrained. If your child does not like being restrained take responsibility and make them understand that it is not up for discussion.
The sad truth is ER24 and other emergency services attend to horrific collisions involving children on a weekly basis. Majority of unrestrained children are flung out of vehicles and either sustain critical injuries or die in collisions. For those parents who cannot afford new car seats, remember that there are organisations that sell second hand car seats or hand them out for an affordable donation. While the law forces parents to use child car seats for children under the age of three, this does not mean that adults should ignore the need to restrain older children. Make sure they are restrained appropriately.
Remember you cannot undo death. The choice you make could be the difference between life and death. Make sure your child is appropriately restrained. What is the appropriate restraint for your child?
~bER24 offers the following advice:~
– Infants should ride rear-facing at least until they are a year old. Once they exceed the weight or height limit set by the manufacturer of the infant safety seat, they should continue to ride rearfacing in a convertible safety seat. It is best to keep toddlers rear-facing as long as possible.
– When they have outgrown this seat, they should use a forward-facing safety seat with a full harness. This should be used until they exceed the weight and/or height limit set by the manufacturer of the seat.
– Children who have outgrown a convertible safety seat should use a booster seat until they are at least four feet.
– Children who are tall enough to wear an adult seat belt should still ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old. Adjust the seat belt so the lap belt crosses the child’s upper thighs and the diagonal belt crosses the upper chest at a point between the neck and shoulder.
ER24’s Emergency Contact Centre can be reached 24 hours a day on 084 124.