Stay safe on the road

Cape Town - Car crashes are the second biggest cause of child injuries over the festive season. Professor Sebastian van As, president of Childsafe and head of the trauma unit at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, said they treated about 10 000 children a year.

Most of them are injured in falls, while motor vehicle accidents are the second biggest cause.

Always make sure your child is safely buckled into a car seat or is wearing a safety belt. Picture: Rogan Ward. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Childsafe’s statistics reveal that the number of trauma cases seen at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trauma Unit climbs at an alarming rate during November and peaks in December.

The rise in the number of motor vehicle accidents in summer is due in part to the increase in long-distance travel over the holidays, and the main cause of these accidents, around 70 percent, is speed.

Pedestrian accidents are most likely to occur when children are left unsupervised.

“If you haven’t been touched by the tragedy of a child accident it is difficult to understand the turmoil associated with it,” said Van As. “Yet when this happens, entire families are caught up in the loss with feelings of guilt and a sense of failure – all due to one careless incident.”


Here are a few essential tips for keeping children safe while travelling – both as passengers and pedestrians: