Online insurer dotsure.co.za (a product of Oakhurst Insurance) and child car safety advocates Wheel Well once again joined forces in an effort to drive passenger safety this National Child Passenger Safety Week, 17-23 September 2017. The dotsure.co.za Car Seat Safety cause is aimed at educating and informing both parents/caregivers and children on the dangers of not buckling up as well as on South African legislation, which now stipulates, that everyone in a car should wear a seatbelt. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that children are buckled up in a car safety seat or seatbelt.
Through their outreach programme in Gauteng, dotsure.co.za have donated 250 car seats to unsuspecting parents at mock road blocks, and have reached approximately 13 000 learners through regular educational school talks. Their latest high visibility joint operation took place at Florida Primary in Roodepoort on Wednesday the 20th of September, between 6 and 8am and with the help of Wheel Well, 40 booster seats were donated and installed. Educational material was distributed advising parents and caregivers about the dangers of not buckling up their children. They were also informed about the changes in the law, which seem to be largely ignored.
“The fact that children are not buckled up, contributes to the unacceptably high mortality and injury rate for children on our roads. A staggering 85% of South African children are still not buckled up on our roads. Through our education and awareness drive, we aim to change the mind-sets of motorists, to ensure that the correct child safety seat is always used.” David Roache – dotsure.co.za
Also at the mock road block were MMC for safety, Mr. Michael Sun and JMPD Chief Superintendent & Spokesperson, Mr. Wayne Minnaar and his team. Their presence highlighted the importance of this road safety message.
“I am just so excited that dotsure.co.za selected our school to a part of this cause. I think it is wonderful that you have come to educate our parents and to give them a free car seat. They were pleasantly surprised. This initiative shows that dotsure.co.za values the safety of our children, as they are the future of our country. Thank you very much!” – Mrs Barbara Fick, Principal of Florida Primary.
The safest way for children to travel in cars is an approved car seat or booster seat. A properly fitted child restraint that is appropriate for your child’s height and weight reduces the likelihood of your child being injured or killed in a car crash. Car safety seats can reduce the risk of passenger death by a staggering 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers. Even in a minor crash, an unrestrained child would be thrown around inside the car and in extreme cases be flung from the car through one of the windows. An astounding test result showed that at 40km/h the blow to a child’s head is the same as dropping him/her onto concrete from a height of 6 meters.
Is your child in the correct car seat? 
As children grow, the way they sit in your car changes. It’s important that you are using a car seat that fits your child’s current size and age. Also remember that not all car seats fit in all vehicles. Before purchasing a car seat, make sure that it fits properly in your vehicle.
Here is some guidance on the four types of child car restraints to help you choose the right one:
1. Rear-facing car seat The best option for young children, the rear-facing car seat has a harness and helps to cradle the child during a crash to reduce stress to the fragile neck and spinal cord. 2. Forward-facing car seat The forward-facing car seat has a harness and tether to limit your child’s forward movement during a crash. 3. Booster seat A booster seat positions the car’s seatbelt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body. 4. Seatbelt Children can safely use a seatbelt if it lies across the upper thighs and is snug across the shoulder and chest. Your child is still too small to use a car seatbelt if it rests on the stomach area or is positioned across the neck or face. dotsure.co.za is a passionate advocate of child passenger safety and is also running free school talks in Gauteng where they educate children about the importance of buckling up. All interested nursery schools, pre-schools and primary schools should contact dotsure.co.za in order to schedule a school talk.
If you too are passionate about saving lives, and if you own a child car seat that you no longer use, we ask that you consider donating it to a deserving family. Please contact NGO Wheel Well, 0723857121 or 073 3937356. Wheel Well will safety check, clean and refurbish all donated seats before passing them on to families in need.