As the world celebrates International Children’s Day this 1st of June, Ford Motor Company Southern Africa has compiled a few tips to highlight the importance of ensuring that the vehicles we travel in are equipped with the correct safety gear and the appropriate car seats for younger passengers.

 

The law surrounding car seats for children was recently adjusted in line with international standards that require the highest level of safety for our littlest passengers. Previously the South African law governing the use of seatbelts in cars had not extended to children under the age of three years. However, the law now requires a child or infant be securely restrained in a child car seat.

 

Eugene Herbert, Project Leader for Driving Skills for Life (DFSL) South Africa, Ford’s responsible driving programme says: “With awareness levels so high regarding child safety, there should never be a reason why any parent should compromise their child’s life by not using an appropriate seat restraint.”

 

Here is some valuable advice from Ford to ensure you travel safely with little ones:

 

Do your research before purchasing a car seat. Check that your car and car seat has Isofix: an international standard for anchoring child seats in vehicles through two points built into the car between the back rest and seat cushion, and a third point positioned at the top of the seat back. Just like all vehicles don’t have Isofix, not all car seats have Isofix either.

 

  • It is very important that your child travels in an appropriate child restraint which is suitable for their weight and size. Children – from birth – need to travel in their own seats and child restraints are designed to match a child’s height and weight. There are many different types of car seats available, divided into categories – as per the car seat chart below.
  • A rear-facing seat provides the best protection for infants, and they need to travel in this position until they have outgrown this seat or are old enough to move to a front-facing seat.
  • Use a child car seat and a booster seat or cushion until the child is about 10 years old, weighs 36kg, and is able to be seated with legs over the seat squab and feet resting on the floor with their back firmly against the seatback.
  • Remember that while children are best protected in age-appropriate child restraints, if such restraints are not available it is still better to use an adult seatbelt than leave the child unrestrained on the back seat.

 

 

A car seat guide to assist you establish what child seat is best suited for your little passengers:

 Happy International Children’s Day: Ensure you are using the Correct Child Seat

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