The safety of children is important in any road trip no matter the distance. Just like diseases and infections, children are also prone to the misfortunes of road accidents.
In May 2017, the FRSC said that there were 33.7 deaths per 100,000 people in Nigeria every year, making Nigeria one of the countries with the highest number of fatalities in Africa. Also, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says no fewer than 1,306 Nigerians died in road accidents in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The NBS further stated in its report that 1,200 of the 1,306 Nigerians who died, representing 92 percent of the figure were adults, while the remaining 106, representing eight percent, were children.
Here lies a task of what parents must do to ensure the safety of their children in the car. Although credits must be given to most parents for taking time to prepare for the safety of their wards on road trips, sometimes, some parents do not use correct car seats or do not anchor the car seats correctly in the car, which endanger the lives of their kids leading to serious accidents.
Ever hear of the acronym LATCH before? The Lower Anchor and Tether for Children (LATCH) system was made for the safety of children in the car. The system is developed so that the parents can easily install the car seat in the car correctly. However, many parents are found to use seat belts to anchor the car seats instead of the LATCH system. The upper tether provided in the system is useful to give additional safety feature to the kid. It balances the head properly and reduces the forward movement of the head which in turn decreases the harmful impact on the head of the child. In spite of such a vital feature, very few parents are seen to use the upper tether for their child.
Good care by parents will protect the child from getting hurt in the car. Hence they should be extra cautious and understand the importance of correct anchoring of car seats in the car. Parents can ensure the safety of their child by following preventive measures which will ensure the safe departure and safe arrival of the children in the car. In order to prevent any misfortunate accidents to kids, parents should follow these steps
Before buying a car seat, first, get the child’s appropriate age and weight and accordingly buy the car seat. Go through the basic guidelines before getting equipment. An infant below 12 months should be placed rear-facing to the car seat. Infants around 48 months should be facing forward. Use booster seats at the appropriate age of the child. In Lagos for example, security operatives are so rigid with most of the laws and fine parents heavily when they break it.
Also, parents should teach their children the importance of safety features. The child must strictly adhere to the safety measures while in the car. Child of any age is prone to small or big accidents. The kid must follow the instructions of their parents such as using seat belts and sitting in the back seat.
Parents should have proper knowledge of the use of booster seats and car seats. Incorrect installation will reduce the effectiveness of the restraint equipment. The equipment should not move too much at the base. Parents should also check the tightness of the seat belts and comfort of the child. Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines and install the seat correctly.
Finally, when there is a kid in the car, the driver should always drive with safety features in mind by following traffic rules. Always remember that you only live once and safety should always be your watchword when you have kids in your car.