Campaigning For A Change


#CarseatFullstop

A local Cape Town mother has created a national car seat awareness campaign called

#CarseatFullstop. Launched on 18 July 2016.

The campaign is supported by award-winning

parenting bloggers, media and brands such as Volvo SA, Gumtree and Kids Emporium, all

working together to protect our littlest citizens. The message is simple – Every child in a car

seat every time no matter what. No ifs or buts. #CarseatFullstop.

“The Nelson Mandela Foundation described the celebration of Mandela Day as a global call

to action for people to recognise their individual power to make an imprint and help change

the world around them for the better,” says campaign creator, Mandy Lee Miller.

“#CarseatFullstop is 100% in line with that and we aim to encourage each and every person

to make their imprint by simply sharing the campaign messaging with their individual social

networks. You never know who might see it and make a change, saving a little life.”

In addition to trying to change the world around them through the campaign,

#CarseatFullstop will also be adding a call to action for people to donate their second-hand

car seats to Car Seats for Kids for 67 days starting from Mandela Day. You can drop your

second-hand car seat at any Volvo dealership throughout South Africa and they will get it to

Wheel Well for the Car Seats for Kids campaign.

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#CarseatFullstop has been built on extensive research and hard hitting facts supported by

simple intelligent graphics. The campaign quotes industry leaders such as Arrive Alive, car

seat expert Peggie Mars from Wheel Well, Dr Anthony Figaji, head of pediatric neurosurgery

at Red Cross Hospital, as well as referencing 40 years of Volvo Car research and a variety of

online research papers and resources. #CarseatFullstop is gearing to make a real and

meaningful impact on South African society.

“We want to see an actual change in behaviour and, as a result, in the statistics,” says Miller.

“Car passenger deaths are the 4th leading cause of unnatural deaths in children in our country.

Car seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 % for infants and 54 % for toddlers.

Currently only 15% of South African children in cars are restrained; that is 85% of children who

are not. These numbers are devastating to me.”

While there is certainly a portion of that 85% that cannot afford the top of the range car seats,

there are a huge variety of car seat options available on platforms like Gumtree where you

can find high-quality barely-used car seats for very affordable prices.

For those who cannot afford even that, there is the amazing NPO Wheel Well’s Car Seat for

Kids campaign. They collect second hand car seats in any condition and clean and refurbish

the seats that can be made safe, or dispose of those that cannot be safely used responsibly.

“Car seats are a must have for all kids traveling in a car,” says Wheel Well owner Peggie

Mars. “The problem is that there are parents that can’t afford this vital investment new. That

used seat gathering dust in a garage can be the difference between life and death for a less

fortunate child.”

This campaign is also be addressing the seeming lack of understanding of the life-or-death

importance of using a car seat as evidenced in the higher income brackets of South African

society.

“My personal experience, and that of those around me, proves that there are as many, if not

more, cases of highly educated professionals driving top of the range cars that do not strap

their children into car seats. There is no affordability issue,” says Miller. “It shows a

heartbreaking lack of understanding of the dangers involved. It also shows an alarming lack

of knowledge or consideration of the fact that it is illegal to drive with an unrestrained minor

in South Africa. The alternatives are arrogance or negligence.”

#CarseatFullstop will be primarily focused on raising awareness of the devastating

consequences that not strapping your child in can have. It will also provide constructive

instruction on topics such as choosing the best car seat for your child, whether new or used,

which car seats should be used at which ages.

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Most parents don’t know that children should be rearwards-facing until at least age 4. They

don’t know that a child needs to be in a booster seat until they are between 10 and 12 years

old. Or that a seat belt is designed for an adult male of over 1.5m tall. Or that for those shorter

than 1.5m, the seat belt becomes an additional danger unless supported appropriately.

We would love if you would add your voice to our cause. Find us on Facebook, Twitter,

Instagram, and Google+, sign up for our newsletter so we can keep you up to date with how

things are going and how you can help spread this message further.

You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one

child, saves a life.


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