Child Car Seat Guidelines for Parents

On the 1st May 2015, the car seat regulation was enforced to protect children in the event of a car accident.

Between three to four children die on the road in South Africa every day. Unnecessary deaths that could have been prevented had these children been strapped in or buckled up. We need to see child car seats as an investment in the safety and well being of our children and not an expensive luxury item.

But do we know what and how to buy the right car seat for our child? The first thing to note is that the seat needs tobe age-appropriate:




Birth – 2 years or when they reach the weight and height limits of the seat*.

Rear-facing seat

Infants and children should be buckled in a seat that faces the back of the car and placed in the back passenger seat.

2 – 5 or when they reach the weight and height limits of the seat*.

Forward-facing seat

Once outgrown, children should be buckled into a forward-facing seat placed in the back passenger seat of the car.

5 and upuntil seat belt fits properly

(15 – 25kg)

Booster seat

A booster seat makes use of the car’s seat belt to strap the child into. It should fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). For the best protection, buckle children into the back seat.

*Check the manufacturers’ manual or label

Remember to check that seats are properly fitted even if it requires a few extra minutes. A safely strapped in child can reduce the need for hospitalisation by almost 70% in the event of an accident.

Buckling up saves lives by:

  1. Reducing the risk of contact with any part of the interior of the vehicle in an accident
  2. Reducing the severity of the injury if contact does take place
  3. Reducing the force of impact over the strongest parts of the body
  4. Preventing a body from being ejected from the vehicle on impact
  5. Preventing injury to otheroccupants in the vehicle

Failure to strap your child into the correct car seat, booster seat, or seat belt before driving off meets with serious punishment with a heavy fine if caught. Take the extra time and effort- lives are worth it.

The AA recommends that a child be always properly restrained with a car seat or booster seat until the child can safely be secured by the seatbelt. From the AA website: “The National RoadTraffic Act does not have a specific regulation in respect of children sitting in the front seat.”

For peace of mind when travelling with your family, you have the option to take out the AutoPedigree Plus Plan when you buy a used car from Auto Pedigree. Whether its roadside assistance, medical assistance, or legal assistance, you get assistance 24 hours a day, every day for the next two years. Find your nearest branch and pop in for a visit.