Children are the most vulnerable in an accident and, usually, they are the ones who are the worst offenders. We give you some tips on child road safety.
There is a growing awareness that traveling responsibly and following all child road safety advice saves lives. One of the most important actions is the use of the most appropriate restraint system , according to the age and weight or size of the child. The use of the belt and the seat drastically reduces the percentage of injuries and infant deaths in the event of an accident.
No matter the distance or the duration of the journey, safety is a priority whenever we get into the car.
The example is also essential. As parents, we must always wear a seatbelt, comply with traffic regulations, and be respectful when driving.
Child road safety in figures
Using the appropriate restraint systems correctly and without exception reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident by between 50% and 80%. Every day there is an average of 19 accidents in our country in which a child is injured. In many cases, with serious or fatal injuries.
What does the Traffic Regulations say
The Traffic Regulations oblige children with a height equal to or less than 1.35 meters to travel in the rear seats of the vehicle with a child restraint system approved according to their height and weight. Failure to comply and the responsibility for this falls on the driver of the vehicle or their parents or guardians, with a fine of 200 euros and withdrawal of three points on the driving license.
There are three exceptions:
- That the rear seats are already occupied by other minors of that height. In the event that minors have to ride in the passenger seat, they must use approved restraint systems.
- That it is not possible to install all the necessary seats.
- That it is a two-seater vehicle.
- Despite this law, it is highly recommended, according to experts, to use restraint methods in children up to 1.50 cm in height.
Most common injuries in children
The children are the most vulnerable in an accident and usually are the ones who are most poor showing . The most frequent injuries that they can suffer are:
- Neck injury: mainly affects children under two years of age, because the size of their head, compared to the body is larger and their spine, as well as the cervical muscles, is very fragile.
- Head injury: it is the most common injury in children between two and four years old since the vertebrae are not strong to withstand the strong deceleration of an impact in the event of an accident. It is the most serious type of injury.
- Injury to the abdomen: it is very common in children between four and ten years old. The impact can cause internal bleeding and injuries to the abdominal organs since, due to age, these are not yet well attached to the muscular structure of the abdomen.
Decalogue of child road safety
The lives of the little ones are the most precious and, in turn, very vulnerable. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT ) and the Spanish Alliance for Child Road Safety (AESVI) have drawn up a road safety decalogue, which includes important topics such as recommendations for choosing the best child seat or the importance of taking children to countermarch.
Each point of the decalogue begins with a keyword and we share it below:
- ALWAYS: always carry your child in a child restraint system appropriate to their size and weight, no matter how short the journey. Never leave the child alone inside the car.
- SPECIALIZED: to buy, go to a specialized store. They will advise you on the needs of the child in terms of safety, informing you about your needs, the characteristics of each chair and its installation.
- APPROVED: check that the CRS is approved, and if possible, opt for the most current regulations, since the safety requirements are higher. Check that the weight and size for which the product has been designed is clearly specified on its label.
- NEW: do not buy second hand chairs, or accept those that have not been used for a long time. After an accident the chair must always be replaced.
- COMPATIBLE : before buying, check the anchoring system of your vehicle and its compatibility with the seat model (iSize, ISOFix and / or seat belt).
- WITH BACKREST: for older children it is advisable to use chairs with a backrest of at least 1.35 meters. Increases your protection in side impacts and improves seat belt protection.
- REAR SEATS: install the chair in the rear seats of the vehicle (preferably in the central one). Get your child on and off the safe side of the road (such as the sidewalk). If you can only place it in the front seat, disconnect the front airbag in the event that the seat is installed in the opposite direction to travel.
- OPPOSITE DIRECTION: it is safer for the smallest trip in the opposite direction to the march for as long as possible, always following the manufacturer’s instructions. Always adjust the harnesses or belts well to the child’s body, without slack.
- LOOSE OBJECTS: Never leave pets, objects or loose luggage in the vehicle. In the event of braking or impact, they can seriously injure the child.
- ACCIDENT: in the event of an accident, and only in a risky situation, take the child out in his restraint system. Never in arms.
What you should know…
- Children are the most vulnerable in an accident and, usually, they are the ones who are the worst offenders.
- Using the appropriate restraint systems correctly and without exception reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident by between 50% and 80%.
- Injuries to the neck, head and abdomen are the most frequent in children in the event of a car accident.