Last updated on Jun 17th, 2021 at 02:02 pm

Putting our child on our lap while quickly going to the shop around the corner is the worst mistake we can make.

Children under 3 years old are at an especially high risk of getting seriously injured and even dying in car accidents in South Africa. A recent collaboration between the University of Cape Town, the SA Medical Research Council, and others, found that only 7.8% of South African kids are properly strapped into car seats.

Seatbelts are not enough to keep kids safe in the car

Moms, did you know it’s illegal to travel in a car with a child under 3 years old who is not strapped into an approved child safety seat? Yet, when you drive and look around you, so many children are not in car seats.

This, say parents who were part of a survey, is because car seats are too expensive, and they believed seatbelts are a suitable alternative to keep their kids safe in the car.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a car seat reduces the risk of injury by as much as 82% for children, compared to just using a seatbelt alone.

ALSO SEE: Your 10-year-old needs a car seat to survive a crash

Lockdown has put a lot of strain on families’ finances

“Unfortunately, people have been put under pressure to just cover the essentials due to the impact of the national lockdowns on their incomes,” says Wheel Well founder, Peggie Mars. But she adds that while the COVID-19 lockdown has limited our travel, the safety of our children when we do travel remains as important as ever.

1 750 South African children died in car accidents in 2019

Let’s join Supa Quick and Wheel Well to keep all South African kids safe

Parents who are able to donate their used cars seats will be making a difference to the lives of other parents with young children who were financially affected by the lockdown.

Through the Wheel Well initiative, you can deliver your used car seats to any Supa Quick outlet, where new and used seats will be collected, stripped and washed so they can be donated to parents in need across the country.

“The country needs to do more through education and access to affordable used car seats to ensure that all South African children are in car seats,” says Peggy.

With a network of over 200 fitment centres around the country, she adds that the collaboration with Supa Quick makes logistical sense by collecting and distributing car seats to those in need.

Supa Quick Brand manager, Yolandi Grundeling says, “This initiative is very close to our hearts. We believe we can make a difference through our partnership with Wheel Well together with the support of our fellow South Africans. We are encouraging all South Africans who have a spare car seat to drop it off at their closest Supa Quick – together we can save precious lives.”