With our Car Seats For Kids CSI initiative starting up again, we thought it appropriate to blog about safety guidelines to assist you – in protecting your most precious assets – your children.
As a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your little ones and as an organisation that promotes vehicle safety awareness, it is our responsibility to provide you with information that will assist you in doing so. This is why we have partnered with Wheel Well, an initiative designed to educate the public on the dangers of not using a car seat, or of using a seat that is incorrectly suited to your child’s size and age. In addition to raising car seat awareness, we are also distributing refurbished seats to those who cannot afford new seats. So far, Cartrack and Wheel Well have handed out over 4000 child car seats to families in need. This year we hope to increase that number and are calling on all Cartrack fans to help in donating any second hand car seats. We are aiming to collect 100 seats by the end of March; with your help this is possible! Collection points for the car seats are at all Renault dealerships – nationwide. For more information, follow us on Facebook or contact Cartrack directly. Together, we can make South African roads safer for our kids.
Here are a few simple guidelines as to which child car seat to select and when:
Birth – 9kgs
Your child is especially vulnerable and thus your infant should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. Infant seats should always be rear-facing. 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time. Statistics reveal that rear-facing seats are safer for all ages.
9 – 18kgs
Keep your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible, as it is the safest option. Your little one should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the maximum height or weight limit permitted by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your little one has outgrown the rear-facing car seat, he/she is ready to move on to a forward-facing seat.
18kgs – 1.5m
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he/she reaches the maximum height or weight limit permitted by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it is time for him/her to travel in a booster seat, which should still be placed in the back seat. Front seats are quite simply not as safe as rear seats for children.
1.5m and taller
Keep your child in a booster seat until he/she is big enough to properly fit into a seat belt. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should fit snugly across the shoulder and chest and not across the neck or face. Remember, your child should still ride in the back seat, because it is always safer in the back seat than in the front.
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