Driving with a baby on board
As a parent, safety should be a top priority for our children. However, a study by the Medical Research Council showed that road injuries are the eighth leading cause of death of children between the ages of 0 - 4. And that figure jumped to a shocking second position for children between the ages of 5 - 14.
What are the contributing factors? Listen to this 2-minute podcast with Xolani Gwala: http://ewn.co.za/2017/03/13/listen-child-road-death-stats-too-high
The regulation by the National Road TrafficAct in South Africa regarding child car seats state that children may only travel in a car if they are secured in a car seat.
Choose the Correct Child Car Seat
With so many choices from the many different styles of baby car seats how do you know which is the right one best suited to your needs? There are a number of aspects to consider such as:
- Age and size of child
- Proper fit for your child
- Proper fit of the child seat to your specific car
- Safety ratings of the child seat
It is commended that children face sitting the rear of the car until at least the age of two or until they reach the maximum height or weight for the car seat.
Read more about Child Car Seat Guidelines here.
Acclimatise Your Baby To The Car Seat
It's important to familiarise your baby with their new car seat before strapping them in and driving off. Let them spend some time in it around the house so that they become more comfortable with it.
Avoid Choking Hazards
While it may help with acclimatisation by giving them toys to play with while you're able to watch them, when baby is strapped up in the back seats behind you, you cannot watch him while driving,and even less see him if he is facing the rear of the car. When in the car and driving, avoid giving babies anything that can cause choking - even food.
Avoid Loose Objects
While we always try to drive as safely as possible when travelling with precious cargo, the reality is that driving on the roads is not always guaranteed plain sailing. Swerving, braking, or any other sudden jerking movements of the vehicle can send loose objects flying and cause serious injury to passengers. Put baby bottles, toys, bags, pens, etc.away in a secure place such as the boot or the cubbyhole.
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