#CarseatFullstop’s core mission is to share as much information as possible on car seat safety. We focus strongly on educating people around extended rear-facing (ERF) car seats due to the fact that it is 5 times safer than forward facing a child too soon. The reality is that there are many many people in South Africa that simply cannot afford an ERF car seat. That does not make you a bad parent or mean that you care less about your child! A solid forward-facing car seat installed properly still provides your child with safety and protection from harm.
It isn’t only about cost either. There are some South African cars that the ERF car seats do not fit properly in. It’s important to remember that a car seat of any orientation is only going to keep your child safe if it fits in YOUR car. The seat has to be installed according to the instruction manual. It must be fitted so that there is only minimal movement of the seat once installed. An affordable properly installed solid forward-facing car seat is safer that a R10,000 rear-facing car seat that doesn’t fit correctly in your car.
#CarseatFullstop, will never ever approve moving a child into a forward-facing car seat before they outgrow a full-term infant seat at 13kgs. At the very minimum. A baby’s neck does not have the strength to support their head in an accident. Whiplash can be excrutiating for an adult. For a 9 month old baby whose head makes up 25% of it’s body weight, held up by a neck that has not developed enough to support that head, it can lead to spinal cord damage and even death.
Many parents are tempted to purchase a “stages” car seat that is sold as usable from birth to 25kgs. While we appreciate the financial sense of such an investment, we strongly urge you to start with an affordable solid built-for-purpose exclusively rear-facing infant seat that goes up to 13kgs – not 9kgs. Thereafter, we have to support the parents who can genuinely only afford one more seat. This forward-facing car seat that has to keep their child safe until they are tall enough to move to a regular seat belt. This is usually at 1.5m tall, between the ages of 10 and 12 years old.
For very affordable reliable car seat purchases, we work from the advice of our dear friend Peggie Mars of Wheel Well. Safeway have been in the car seat market in South Africa right from the beginning. They have a good reputation and spend a great deal of time, investigation and effort into the selection of their seats.
There has been a wave of concern in the South African parenting community lately, around whether car seats have been “independently crash tested”. Our top three car seat brands in South Africa all invest large sums of money into getting their seats further tested. This is wonderful and adds a layer of peace of mind for parents, because these seats are tested and given public scores. This means that you can choose the safest seat in a particular range, and the safest tested seat available in the country with investigation. This testing costs a lot of money and these brands have chosen to invest that money, which is then included in the pricing of the seats.
Safeway holds a very important space in a market like South Africa. The Safeway seats are of the most affordable safe car seats in the country. They send their seats to Belgium or the Netherlands for testing and their seats adhere to the strict criteria of the ECE regulations. This testing is not inferior to the independent testing. The issue that some have with it, is that the results are not published. So a seat that just scraped through testing is given the same approval as a seat that exceeded every criteria.
Safeway believes completely in the safety of their seats. They have weighed that up with the high costs of further testing, and decided to keep the car seats affordable for the segment of the South African market that they serve. Peggie has never seen or heard of any reported issues on a Safeway seat. She notes that there have actually been several newspaper reports of severe accidents, where a Safeway seat has saved a child’s life.
Thank you to Dotsure Insurance
Last year, Dotsure Insurance donated 3 Safeway forward-facing car seats to the #CarseatFullstop cause. You may recognise their name, as they are strong supporters of the Wheel Well cause. They work closely with Peggie to hold innovative “road block” activations and they speak at schools to educate children on car seat safety. What makes them special is their team. They are passionate about helping others, supporting causes, and protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
The first seat Dotsure donated went to a mom who contacted us during the active #CarseatFullstop campaign.
She reached out when we shared this article… This is not ok.
I must confess. I have supported your carseatfullstop campaign from the start. My son is turning four next month and I really thought it was no longer necessary for him to sit in a car seat anymore. I drive a car 30-something years old, almost the same age as me in fact. So, I thought I would look stupid with a fancy carseat for my four year old in a really old car. I am almost 8 weeks pregnant. My husband has a decent job, I am looking. We come by but cannot really afford extras, especially with baby on the way.
My newborn will be in a carseat of course. Until he or she is 3 years old, like I thought the cut off date was for kids in carseats. But this article shocked me. I do not want this happening to my little boy. I do not ask anything for free, ever. But if anybody has an extra car seat I can use for his age, I would appreciate it so much. Even driving him to school tomorrow, I will be thinking about this article. Sometimes you have to shock people to their senses. This has opened my eyes. I am more than prepared to buy an age appropriate one, if I can be allowed to pay it off. Maybe you have contacts. Thank you for what you are doing!
This was one of so many mails I received. Collecting or donating car seats is not a part of our initiative. As I did with everybody who reached out, I sent this mom Wheel Well’s contact information. Poor Peggie was flooded with requests from across South Africa and she did everything she could to support these families. Being Joburg based, with only limited sponsorship, she sadly couldn’t help everybody. As it turned out, she was not able to help this mom.
A few days after I received the donated seats from Wheel Well, she reached out again. She was still struggling to save up to get a seat for her son. The timing just worked. Her husband works in Cape Town and came to collect the seat. Her little boy now has a gorgeous Safeway Nomad booster seat. Thank you so much to Dotsure Insurance!
Trying to decide what to do with the two Safeway Moto-X3 seats that Dotsure sent us has been challenging. We’ve wanted to run a giveaway, but we have not had budget to get the seats to a winner.
Thank you Uber South Africa
Recently Uber South Africa has come to the rescue! They will deliver the two seats to our winners in Cape Town! For those who don’t know, Uber is running a pilot programme in Johannesburg called UberFAMILY. The offer is exclusive to Johannesburg at the moment and is simple to use. You simply open your Uber app; go to uberSUV at the bottom of the screen; request the ‘CAR SEAT’ option and your driver will arrive with a car seat suitable for children from birth to 18kgs.
NOTE – BY ENTERING YOU ARE AGREEING TO USE THIS SEAT FOR YOUR OWN CHILD OR GRANDCHILD. YOU MAY NOT SELL IT OR YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM ENTERING ANY GIVEAWAY ACROSS ANY PLATFORMS ASSOCIATED WITH #CARSEATFULLSTOP. THE PURPOSE OF THIS GIVEAWAY IS TO RAISE AWARENESS & HELP SOMEONE WHO CANNOT AFFORD A SEAT FOR THEIR CHILD.
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WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO CONTACT YOU TO SEND YOU YOUR PRIZE!!
Good luck everybody!!
We will announce our winner in the week of 15 May!
If we are unable to reach you within 7 days, another winner will be selected.
*This competition is sadly only open to Cape Town residents