Ten new mothers at Frere Hospital received free car seats for their children, courtesy of the Road Accident Fund.
New mom Busiswa Qingana said she did not know the importance of having a car seat until yesterday.
“My son Indimangazile was born prematurely and we had not prepared everything we wanted yet. I can say I do not think we were going to buy a car seat.
“I am glad that I will rest easy that my son is safely buckled in when we are driving,” Qingana said.
Avuyile Makapela said when she was thinking of all the things her son Kungawo would need and making a list of them, a car seat was not one of them.
“I am feeling so informed and I would like to share all the information I have with other women I know. It is true that as adults we fasten our seat belts and proceed to hold babies in our arms and that is not safe,” Makapela said.
RAF regional marketing and communications manager, Bongiwe Nyengane said the department of health was one of their stakeholders and they were glad to partner with them for such a project.
“The hospital is a client’s first point of contact after an accident and we are on a mission to reduce the number of accidents on our roads. It is always our mission to share ideas and work together. To a certain extent, this is a way of a prevention awareness campaign,” she said.
Nyengane said there were many misconceptions that people have about road safety.
“We all need to know that road safety begins with each of us as individuals. One of the misconceptions is that babies are safest in somebody’s arms while in the car.
“People also seem to think that if they put babies in car seats they are neglecting them. No, this is not the case. Putting them in the car seat is loving them. Even if they cry, leave them there,” said Nyengane.
Frere CEO Dr Rolene Wagner said they were pleased to partner with the RAF.
“Frere Hospital really appreciates our partnership with the Road Accident Fund. The handing over of these car seats is more than just helping our moms to comply with the new law, but it is also saying that we care about our Frere babies even after they are born and have left the hospital,” Wagner said.
In 2015 the department of transport announced that parents travelling with children under the age of three would be obliged, by law, to strap them into a car seat.