Strap Your Little Ones In! Car Seats Should Be a Must, Not a Maybe
Your child is by far the most precious cargo your vehicle will ever have to carry. We love our children and would never want anything to happen to them, yet here in South Africa, we still boast relatively low awareness towards car seat safety. It’s critical to have your child – of any age, from infant to adolescent – properly restrained on every trip.
Why this is crucial
Road accidents are the second leading cause of death in children aged 5 to 14 in South Africa. According to the Automobile Association of South Africa, it is the law that any child under the age of three is in a properly secured car seat. A car seat can help reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash. Studies have shown that children who aren’t properly restrained, and who are involved in crashes – even at slower speeds – have more chance of being seriously injured or, worse, killed, than those who are.
Most Ford vehicles feature standard Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), compatible with many car seats, but parents should always double-check that their car seat can be properly attached to the vehicle’s lower and top tether anchors. It’s important to take into account all the other vehicles this car seat may likely be used in as well.
Where, when and why
Rear-facing car seats are the safest way for infants and young children to travel in. Ford recommends that you keep your child in one until they have exceeded the highest weight or height allowed by your car seat manufacturer before transitioning to a forward-facing seat. There are also many convertible seats out in the market now, which can be used as a rear-facing and later, as a forward-facing car seat.
Take care to ensure the car seat is reclined at a correct angle so your child’s head isn’t flopping forward. Babies, in particular, need to be placed semi-reclined so that their airways are kept open. Bear in mind that you may need to readjust the seat as your child grows. Once your child outgrows their car seat, it’s important to introduce a booster seat as, at that point, most children might still not be tall enough or weigh enough for an adult seat belt to fit snugly around them. Children must be about 1.5 meters – with the lap belt low on their hips and pelvis and the shoulder bet resting comfortably on the middle of their chest and shoulder – before a seat belt is appropriate.
Ford South Africa
Strapping your child into a car seat is vital for their safety. Ford supports @carseatfullstop, a local car seat initiative that promotes the correct use of car seats. Here are some tips to make sure your child is as safe as they can be: http://bit.ly/FordCSFS #FordCares
Call: 087 724 8840
Ford Media Centre – www.media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fma/za/en/news/2019/09/30/strap-your-little-ones-in–car-seats-should-be-a-must–not-a-may.html
Ford South Africa – www.twitter.com/FordSouthAfrica/status/943763167867559936