National car seat awareness initiative #CarseatFullstop has partnered with Gauteng based doctor and entrepreneur Dr Tahera Essay to bring some of the safest car seats in the world to South Africa.
“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with international leaders in child safety, Axkid International. We are bringing some of the safest car seats in the world to South African families,” says #CarseatFullstop director, Mandy Lee Miller. “Axkid shares our passion for education and awareness on child safety in cars. The Axkid seats offer unique solutions to make it easier to keep your child safe.”
#CarseatFullstop launched in 2016, bringing attention to the concept of children rear facing for as long as possible. This has been standard practice in much of Europe for decades and is a primary focus for the Axkid team.
#CarseatFullstop is bringing in three of the Axkid toddler seats, suitable for children aged 6 months to 6 years. All three have passed the strictest crash testing in the world, the Swedish Plus Test. And they are all exclusively rear facing up to 25kg or 125cm tall.
Why rear facing?
“Research has proven that rear facing is much safer than forward facing. As an adult in a crash, your head is thrown forward with massive force… This results in whiplash,” explains Dr Tahera Essay. Essay is a medical practitioner and director of Greendot Baby, a medical practice, pharmacy, boutique baby store and aesthetics clinic.
“A nine month old baby’s head makes up 25% of their body weight. Their skeleton is still developing, largely made up of cartilage, with the neck as the weakest point. This means the least developed part of them, the neck, is supporting the biggest and heaviest part of your baby, the head. Now think about whiplash again…”
A child in a forward-facing car seat is going to have the same force throwing their overly-large heavy head forward… With only the delicate undeveloped neck to support it. This is why rear-facing is so important. Rear-facing car seats distribute the crash force evenly across the entire back and solid head, as opposed to just the neck.
Truly extended rear facing
There are two other car seats available in South Africa that allow rear facing to 25kg and #CarseatFullstop has worked closely with both brands.
Miller says of the available seats, “The levels of safety of these seats is amazing. The quality and build and comfort are always outstanding. There were small things about them that caused problems for some families, the most challenging being their size. They are large and take up a lot of space in a car, meaning many families didn’t have them as an option.”
“What instantly drew me to the Axkid toddler seats is their compact design. Reducing the space needed by up to 30cm in depth and 15cm in width, these seats are the answer for so many families who simply didn’t have the option to rear face their children for longer.”
Long term investment
The Axkid seats are premium quality and extensively tested, so they are not cheap. They are designed to keep your child safe for more than 5 years, so they are a long term investment. They range in price from R6500 to R8999, which is in line with the market on European seats.
“More than half the cost of these seats is on transport, import duties and taxes,” says Miller. “Our hope is to find a way to bring the price of the Axkid Move, currently at R6500, down in the future to enable those with smaller budgets to access Swedish Plus Tested seats.” (For more on how car seats are priced in South Africa, you can read here.)
To begin with, we have a limited number of 3 compact, Swedish Plus Test approved, exclusively extended rear facing seats suitable for children between the ages of 6 month and 6 years. The seats will arrive in South Africa in July. Pre-orders on the Axkid seats are now open and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.