Car accidents are one of the leading causes of non-natural deaths in children in South Africa. According to an AA study, only 7% of children in private cars are strapped in.
National car seat awareness initiative #CarseatFullstop has partnered with Gauteng based doctor and entrepreneur Dr Tahera Essay to bring some of the safest car seats in the world to South Africa.
“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with international leaders in child safety, Swedish-based Axkid International, to bring some of the safest car seats in the world to South African families,” says #CarseatFullstop director, Mandy Lee Miller.
Why rear-facing car seats are safer
“Research has proven that rear-facing is much safer than forward-facing. As an adult in a crash, your head is thrown backwards and then forward with massive force, resulting in whiplash,” explains Dr Tahera. “A 9-month-old baby’s head makes up 25% of their body weight. Their skeleton is still developing, largely made up of cartilage, with the neck as the weakest point. So the biggest and heaviest part of your baby – the head, is supported by the weakest and least developed part of them – the neck. Now think about whiplash again,” she adds.
A child in a forward-facing car seat is going to have the same crash force throwing their overly-large heavy head forward, with only the delicate undeveloped neck to support it. This is why rear-facing is so important. Rear-facing car seats are designed to distribute the crash force evenly across the entire back and solid head, as opposed to just the neck.
There are currently two other car seats available in South Africa that allow rear-facing up to 25kg. “The levels of safety of these seats are amazing. The quality, build and comfort are always outstanding. There were small things about them that caused problems for some families, the most challenging being their size. They are large and take up a lot of space in a car, meaning many families didn’t have them as an option,” says Many Lee.
Safer car seats coming to SA
#CarseatFullstop has selected three of the Axkid toddler seats, suitable for children aged 6 months to 6 years, to bring into South Africa. The Axkid Minikid, Axkid Move and Axkid Rekid have passed the strictest crash testing in the world, the Swedish Plus Test. They are all exclusively rear-facing up to 25kg or 125cm tall.
“What instantly drew me to the Axkid toddler seats is their compact design. Besides being of the highest safety standards and offering some of the most innovative features on seats I have seen, they reduce the space needed by up to 30cm in depth and 15cm in width. These seats are the answer for so many families who simply didn’t have the option to rear-face their children for longer,” says Mandy Lee.
How much will these new car seats cost?
The Axkid seats are premium quality and extensively tested, so they are not cheap. They are designed to keep your child safe for more than five years. They range in price from R6 500 to R8 999.
The Axkid car seats will arrive in South Africa in July. Pre-orders on the Axkid seats are now open and can be reserved by emailing [email protected].
For more information on car seat safety, visit www.carseatfullstop.org.
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