On the Road

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Don’t let your child be a Crash Test Dummy

Unrestrained passengers become projectiles in an accident
The grim truth about children’s deaths on the road is that most of these deaths can be prevented.
All too often you still see some parent who will let a small child sit on their lap in the front of a vehicle. In an accident, this child will go straight through the windscreen and die or suffer fatal head injuries.
The law now requires South Africans to install car seats for babies and toddlers. This prevents them from being ejected or thrown around the vehicle in an accident. In a front-on crash, unrestrained children and passengers will be catapulted forward and create a risk to others inside a vehicle, as they can be thrown about in a crash. If you are travelling at 80km/h and are involved in an accident, everyone in the vehicle with you will still be travelling at that speed.
This is why a car seat is imperative. When purchasing a child car seat, remember they are designed to match a child’s height and weight.
Also, check to ensure that the car seat will fit correctly in your vehicle.
Infants require their own special seat designed to cradle them in a crash.
Items that are not secured can become airborne and kill you in the event of an accident. An unrestrained pet can shatter a windshield
Watch the crash-test video that shows how unrestrained adults and children in a vehicle become a danger to other passengers.

Vehicles can be death traps
Simple tips on how to keep your children safe in and around vehicles:
Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Keep car keys and remotes out of reach of children.
Never leave children alone in or around cars, not even for a minute.
If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside of vehicles including the boot, even if it is locked.
A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them. Please share these important safety tips with your childcare providers, teachers, relatives, friends, and family… It could save a life!
Sources: www.arrivealive.co.za, africacheck.org, www.healthychildren.org, www.kidsandcars.org, http://abcnews.go.com

Heat stroke can kill
A child left in a hot car can die of heat stroke very quickly.
Heat stroke occurs when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough.
A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body does.
When left in a hot car, a child’s major organs begin to shut down when their temperature reaches 104°(F).
A child can die when his temperature reaches 107 degrees F.
Cars heat up quickly! In just 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees.
Protecting children is everyone’s business! If you see an unattended child locked in a car, you should act immediately.

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