Child Safety – Is Your Child Safe in Your Car?

We keep our money in trusted banks for safety.
Our expensive pieces of jewelry in very secluded places, typically out of sight.
We only park our cars in particular locations after we are guaranteed of the safety.
The irony is, we throw caution to the wind when driving with our precious and beloved children.
On Nigerian roads, it is common to see kids sitting in the front seat of cars (Look out in Lagos busy traffic). Sometimes the child is carried by the adult seating in front. Other times the child is sitting alone. The most alarming case is one where the same adult driving is carrying the kid!
James Bond moves! How daring!
Sometimes the kids sit in the back seat but the parents leave them unstrapped. Allowing them to stand or jump around while the car is in motion. Meanwhile, the parent makes feeble attempts to get them to sit. Isn’t this reckless?
Unfortunately, Nigeria traffic authorities do not currently enforce child traffic safety laws. Thus, as parents and guardians, it is our responsibilities to ensure our kids are safe. We must use the appropriate child restraints and cautions to ensure they are safe
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reported 61,806 cases of road crashes between 2010 and 2014. Of which 1,903 children died and 8,667 others were injured. Safety analysts believe that these incidences were avoidable with stringent regulations and caution.
Generally, traffic laws recommend that anyone below 12 years shouldn’t sit in the front seat of a moving vehicle.
Accidents are usually more damaging to kids. Kids are more vulnerable and have lower chances of surviving an accident
Below the age of 12, kids are not mature enough to handle the hazards of inflated air bags. The very little ones can get ejected from the car due to force of collision if not properly restrained
Parents and anyone driving with minors must take the advised precautionary measures.

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe While Driving

  • Children below 12 should sit at the back with the proper car restraints (car seat, car booster or seat beats)
  • Strap children below 5 in car seats or booster seats until they are tall enough to use the car seat belts. Child restraints are effective because the seat belts are positioned over the parts of a child’s body that are best able to absorb the force of a crash.
  • Instruct and ensure your drivers and domestic staff take the same precaution when traveling with the children.
  • Ensure the school buses have restraints for the kids.
  • As soon as your kids can understand, teach them the importance of using restraints. If they understand the relevance, they wouldn’t see it as a form of punishment and try to evade it.
  • Use your child locks to prevent their wandering hands of your children from opening the car doors while you are driving
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