Just as we all love to monitor and care for our kids at home; it is highly required as well that we learn how to monitor and care for kids when taking them for rides in any type of vehicle.
Rather than continually blame most Nigeria drivers for always breaking some of the basic rules of transporting kids in vehicles; Naijauto has decided to research and put out this short article to address and educate everyone on the some of the top 10 car safety facts and mistakes parents make especially in Nigeria.
Parents should follow proper safety procedures to protect their children when taking them for a ride
Below are some of the basic but important car facts and mistakes we believe every Nigerian driver who is also parents should be aware of;
1. Cars could be dangerous for kids even without moving
As strange as this might sound, it is actually true.
Many parents who are car owners have been reported over the years now to be making the same mistake of having the windows of their parked cars rolled up while locking their kids inside. They usually do this thinking that the car is safe because it's parked. However, in just 40 minutes or less, that same parked vehicle can literally become suffocating and extremely dangerous for the kids locked inside especially on Nigerian sunny days.
>>> We do not make up the story, it's real thing happening in Nigeria: Baby left in the car by mum, rescued by traders in Computer Village, Lagos
Parents’ ignorance has lead to child deaths in parked cars
Leaving the window glasses rolled down would also not guarantee safer temperature and would also put the kids at risk of rolling out the window or getting kidnapped.
Apart all of the dangers we just explained; it is also possible for children to hop into a parked car and set it in motion if they are left unsupervised or if the car keys are left at their reach. They can as well get themselves strangled by an automatic car window or get trapped in the trunk of a car while playing.
As a parent, it is your duty to be on the lookout for all the above-described scenarios and never assume that a vehicle is only dangerous when in motion.
2. Front-seat airbags are not safe for kids
Don’t be surprised if we tell you that the same airbags meant to save adults during car crashes is actually dangerous for children, especially infants. As a matter of fact, it has been recorded that airbags often kill toddlers and babies whenever they are deployed during a crash. So, make sure to always deactivate the front-seat airbags whenever you are transporting a child that is below age 13 in the passenger seat of your car.
Alternatively, we highly recommend that you just completely avoid letting kids of that age bracket occupy the front seat. Rather, let them take the back seat of the car as it is safer for them.
>>> You should read this for more details! Is backseat the safest place in car? New study says otherwise!
3. Some car junks become shrapnel during a collision
Many Nigerian parents that own cars are guilty of keeping different random objects everywhere inside the car while completely forgetting to remove them before driving with kids.
A pen, laptop or teacup on the dashboard of a car will pretty much become a projectile that can strike both the driver and kids in any case of a sudden collision or bumping into an unnoticed pothole on the road while driving. While adults might get away with little injuries in such scenarios, kids, on the other hand, can suffer severely.
Keep all random objects and junks in the boot of your car so that they don’t end up hurting you or your kids
4. Bigger vehicles don’t guarantee more safety
Few people hold the belief that bigger vehicles such as SUVs are safer for surviving car crashes. Well, this is completely wrong because many statistics have rather proved over the years that older models of SUVs will most likely somersault/flip over due to their generally higher centre of gravity as compared to smaller cars.
Bigger vehicles tend to somersault more than smaller cars during an accident if they don’t have electronic stability control
Instead of just looking out for bigger SUVs, we will rather advise parents shopping for family vehicles to instead look out and shop for newer SUV models that come equipped with an ESC (Electronic Stability Control) feature.
This ESC technology is a new feature that is missing in older SUVs but has proven effective in preventing modern SUVs from flipping over during accidents.
5. Installing the wrong seat belt for your child
Never fall victim of any overly advertised seat belts that are tagged “one-size-fits-all”.
When buying a car seat for you kids, always make sure to try strapping it many times with a seat belt to be sure that the tether straps properly match up with your vehicle’s anchor.
Since you will be paying for the product, we advise that you shouldn’t just manage anyone you see but instead keep looking out till you find one that fits perfectly.
>>> More details at: Notes about most important safety devices: airbags & seatbelts
6. Badly installed seats are dangerous for children
This point is pretty much self-explanatory.
Only a tight car seat will do the right safety job. A badly installed or loose car seat will normally shake back and forth as well as pull from one side to another in such a manner that completely exposes children to the danger of suffering grave injuries if a crash ever occurs.
Always make use of a locked seat belt or latch system to secure the car seat tightly in place when taking children for a ride.
7. A loose harness of a car seat is dangerous for kids
It is also common for Nigerian parents to ignore tightening the harness of their car seats just because they want their kids to feel more comfortable or when they see that the kid is having heavy clothing on already. This is a very dangerous assumption and mistake!
This mistake is very much alike with the ones listed in point 5 & 6 above and would only result in severe injuries for a child in any case of a sudden collision or crash.
Ensure that your kids are strapped tightly and properly rather than loosely when taking them for a ride
>>> In case you need one: Baby car seat prices in Nigeria 2019 & buying tips
8. Kids below 18 months shouldn’t be taking a front seat
Never be in haste to keep a child that is less than a year old in the front seat to enjoy the thrill with you. Doing so will be putting him/her at risk of spinal and head injuries because science claim that the bones protecting the spinal cord of kids are usually still in the formative stages during the first 18 months.
9. Never fix the rear-facing car seat in the wrong angle
Having the right car seat, belts and harness are all fantastic but then, it is also essential that you make sure to fix the car seats in the right angle especially the rear-facing seat where the kids will pretty much always ride in.
The reason why this is important is that a car seat fixed in the wrong angle can cause a child’s head to flop forward in a way that cuts off his/her airway in a manner that makes breathing almost impossible for him/her. Yes, you read that right! They are only infants and with very narrow airway compared to an adult.
Keeping children safe in crashes: Overview
10. Boosters are important for kid’s safety in a car
Doing away with Boosters is a terrible trend that has now become rampant among Nigerian parents that ride with their children.
The regular adult shoulder belts in most vehicles are definitely ill-fitting for kids as they usually slip out of it during crashes and end up sustaining abdominal, spinal, face and head injuries as a result.
Get Boosters for you own kids as they help raise a child up to the right height where the vehicle seat belts will fit across their chest and laps properly.
>>> For your reference: 5 ways kids do get hurt while in a car
Most of the above-mentioned top 10 car safety facts and mistakes that parents make are just little things that anyone can easily keep in mind but will go a long way in ensuring the safety of a child by million folds during unprecedented occasions.
If you really love your children, please do the right things to protect them!
>>> Check out other useful tips like this by navigating to our -> safe driving section now!