35 Babies Killed in Road Accidents During 2013

The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund has reported that 13 percent of those that died in car accidents in 2013 were between the ages of 0 to 15 years – 35 of these were children under 5.

Further, children under the age of 15 years represented 11 percent of the recorded number of injured persons.

The 2013 figures indicate that 163 babies between the ages of 0 and 5 years were injured, 238 between the ages of 6 and 10 years and 241 between the ages of 11 and 15 years.

According to the MVA statistics, of the deaths recorded during 2013, 35 were children between the ages of 0 and 5 years, 27 between the ages of 6 and 10 and 24 between the ages of 11 and 15 – bringing to 86 the total number of young lives lost.

The major potential cause of fatalities, and at times serious injuries, has been identified as the manner in which the young ones are transported in vehicles. It has been noted that children at times travel on the laps of adults, as this is apparently deemed “safe”.

Those that are “old enough” but yet under the age of 15, are allowed to sit on their own, without the use of seatbelts.

Seatbelt use among Namibians is seen more as a means to please the police and not necessary for road safety.

During any road accident, babies carried on the lap are thrown out of the vehicles, as they are not harnessed to the vehicle with the safety belt like the adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends the following as the correct seating arrangement for child safety:

Children under the age of 12 months and those who weigh less than 9 kilograms should sit facing the rear with child safety seats. The seats should be placed in the backseat of the car.

Children older than 12 months who weigh more than 9 kg should ride in forward-facing child safety seats. The seat should be placed in the rear of the vehicle until the child reaches the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat. Typically, a child will outgrow a safety seat around age 4.

Children age 4 and older, who weigh more than 40 pounds should ride in booster seats. A child can safely progress to a seat belt when the belt fits properly across the upper thighs and chest. This is usually at age 8.

Seat belt. When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use seat belts, but they still should sit in the back of the vehicle.

Source : New Era