Accidents are the most frequent cause of death among children, particularly car accidents. One of the first rules for child safety in a car is the use of child car seats and seat belts. The following are guidelines for ensuring that seat belts and car seats are properly used to ensure optimum protection.
* Children of all ages, from new-borns to teenagers must be safely fastened in a car seat. Ensure that everyone is wearing their seat belts before starting the car.
* The child seat must be appropriately fitted for your child's age and size.
* A baby should not sit in a child seat for more than 20 to 30 minutes a day because the muscles in their back are not fully developed.
* No matter the position (front or back seat), your child seat must be fastened with the car's three-point seat belt, carefully following the manufacturers' instructions. Please note that you should only place your child's car seat on the front seat only if the car has no passenger-side airbag or if the airbag is switched off.
* Never place anything underneath a child in the child seat; otherwise the child won't be protected by the belt in an accident.
* If the belt is too large, it must be tightened to fit your child. If your child sits loosely in the child seat, roll a couple of towels and place them on either side of the child in the child seat. You may also buy cushions specially designed for this purpose.
* Only the parent or another adult should fasten/undo the child's safety belt. To be sure that the child is securely fastened at all times, you should not teach your child how to work the car seat.
* If the child opens his or her seat belt, pull over to a safe place and stay there until the child is safely fastened again. If the child continuously undoes their seat belt, fit a new buckle so they can't undo it.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
* Always use the child lock to prevent children from fiddling with the doors while you are driving.
* Keep everyone calm in the car. Shouting may distract the driver and create unnecessary danger.
* Keep large or heavy objects in the boot the car; do not place such in the back seat or on the parcel shelf as they may be thrown forwards in a collision and injure the passengers.
* A child must never be left unattended in a car because they may hurt themselves with the seat belt, airbag or automatic windows.
* Do not allow children younger than 12 years to sit in a front seat with an active airbag. Even for older children, you should move the seat as far back as possible.