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What Is The Value Of Your Child’s Life | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


I have three lovely sons. Like every good parent, their welfare and safety is a priority to me. The same should be the case for every parent. I do not know if you are a parent like me. Or whether you are single or double, if you know what I mean? Do you have kids? Have you ever lost any through a road traffic crash? Do you own a car or cars? Two, three or just one car? What is the value of the car or cars? 

Are your cars like mine? Tokumboh or tear rubber? Please forgive me for these questions. They are necessary in laying the foundation for today’s discussion. Of course, if you are one of my regular readers, you must have read some of my write-ups on child safety.

 As a parent as well as a safety officer, child safety remains my passion. This passion is driven by my belief that my work as a Christian, is my Ministry; what my Pastor would call my market place. Secondly, the love of my three lively sons and the need to leave a legacy as safer roads drives me to promote safe and best practices for children. 

These two driving forces were reinforced when some years ago, I had the privilege to travel to Cape Town in South Africa for a training program. During the visit, I saw volunteers provide traffic calming measures to protect black kids in black neighborhood in Gordon’s Bay. These volunteers refused to sit on the fence, but rather took a stand to protect the group we all call the leaders of tomorrow.

Black home, the reverse is the case as we leave everything to God, instead of taking a stand to protect children whose birth we all gladly celebrate with so much partying. As a parent, or guardian, do you know of the provisions of section 58(4) of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2004 which makes it mandatory for all occupants of a vehicle to use a seatbelt for their safety?

Do you know this provision covers children, also? Please forgive me for stressing you with these questions but my intention is to challenge your consciousness to the dangers we expose our children to, despite our claim that we love and cherish them so much. Most of us who have heeded the Federal Road Safety Corps call to use seat belts, unfortunately, do not see any sense in protecting our children while driving by strapping them in the appropriate car restraints. 

Some lap them. Others leave them unattended in moving vehicles. In the front and sometimes the rear seat of the vehicles. Others who are daring enough and too exposed for our clime even share the vehicle steering with the innocent but vulnerable kids. Some claim strapping these kids in a car seat is alien. This group maintains that strapping children in a car is meant for the white man, not a black man. I believe this group knows what they are saying. Afterall, these vehicles were manufactured in Oshodi in Lagos State or maybe in Aba,Abia State by our ingenious engineers. 

Others say the cost for a seat is high. Yet the cheapest among these cars could cost as low as 500,000 naira while others go for as high as 5million naira, compared to car seats which range from just about 25,000 naira for the protection of the life of God’s precious gift. Even the lettered ones share the same ignorance while some buy the seats yet lack the boldness to use them.

The irony is that these same parents would not mind hanging out with friends and business partners to spend thousands on drinks, pepper soup and other extra. The female ones would prefer spending thousands of naira on designer shoes and bags, but not on the safety of their children. This is what a handful of parents call choices.

Now, let me explain why this child safety campaign. It has been over twenty years since the Corps came up with the seat belt driving culture. Yet observation shows that a greater percentage of parents and guardians don’t care about child safety. Daily, these children, whether in school buses or family vehicles, are transported without any iota of safety. This worry prompted the Lagos State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps. Arrive Alive, Child Safety Foundation and El-elyon to birth the idea of a child Passenger Safety campaign with the theme, “Don’t kill the Child, Kill the Bad habit” aimed at raising safety awareness on children safety.

This is because, Road safety crisis is the leading cause of preventable death; the 3rd largest cause of disabilities. In Africa, it is the 2nd largest cause of deaths after Aids/HIV. In the same Africa, there’s generally no costing data making the cost of crashes difficult to estimate except for a few Countries.

 A study has shown that 10% of global road deaths occurred in Africa though only 4% of world’s registered vehicles are in the continent. This study posits that if reporting of road traffic crashes were to improve, the road traffic rash index in the continent will be different as it most likely would show more deaths. South Africa and Nigeria, according to this study, account for most of the reported deaths.

These deaths, according to the study are caused mostly by human error and vehicle factors that include the following; over-speeding, dangerous overtaken, alcohol and drug abuse, negligence of drivers, poor driving standards, overloaded people or goods vehicles, poor tyre maintenance, burst tyre, bad roads and hilly terrain, negligence of pedestrians, distraction of drivers by passengers, cell phone use among others. 

The truth is that child safety is a global concern. This is because road traffic injuries alone are the leading cause of death among children 15-19years and the second leading cause among 10-14 years old. These injuries are not inevitable. They are preventable. Ironically most parents are not concerned, going by their actions behind the wheels. Signs of these concerns are legion.

 

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