There is a threat to our children's lives that is of epidemic proportions.

And it's preventable...
with the click of a seatbelt


Road accidents as the single biggest killer of healthy children in South Africa.

Injury-related incidents across the world cause more deaths and greater long term disability than HIV, TB, or Malaria.


In many countries it is the leading cause of death of otherwise healthy young children. Shockingly, the most significant contributor to these injuries is traumatic brain injury (TBI), with motor vehicle accidents being the leading cause.

The statistics are alarming, with South African children being as much as 8-10 times at greater risk than similarly aged children in Europe.

South Africa has one of the highest road accident-related fatality rates in the world. Disturbingly, 80% of children with severe head injuries admitted to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital are injured in road traffic accidents. Of those who were passengers in a vehicle, 96% were not restrained by seat belts or car seats.



Children are particularly vulnerable to long-term brain damage.

The brain is the only organ entirely protected by bone, however it remains extremely vulnerable to sudden movement and high impact.


In children under the age of three, the capacity of the brain to protect itself is not fully developed. Many survivors have long-term disability, including physical, cognitive, behavioural and emotional disorders.



The use of a seatbelt or car seat reduces the risk of fatal injury.

The use of a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 40 – 50% for drivers and front-seat occupants, and by up to 25% for rear-seat occupants, according to the WHO Road Traffic Accident Fact
Sheet, 2022.


In the event of an accident, an unrestrained child becomes a projectile and is likely to be catapulted from a vehicle on impact, increasing risk of death or disability. 

Physics has shown that it is impossible to hold onto a child if a vehicle is brought to a sudden stop. There is less than half a second to react and instinct is to throw your arms forward. The weight of an adult sharing a seatbelt with a child will crush a child on impact.


Children are the most vulnerable cohort

Facts to get your head around:

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital sees some 2000 Children (aged newborn to 12) with head injuries annually. 

Road accidents are responsible for almost 80% of severe head injuries in children at the hospital (in a coma or on life support)

Of children admitted to the hospital after severe TBI sustained as a passenger in motor vehicle accidents, 96% were not wearing a seatbelt. 

Your donation will help to fund initiatives directly aimed at the prevention of traumatic brain injuries in children.

Let us unite as parents, a community and responsible citizens to ensure the safety of our children.

More stringent policing of safety belt usage

Buckling up is the law and authorities need to commit to enforcing compliance with road rules.


South African regulations state that (a) all adults must use seat belts if available; (b) the driver must ensure a child aged between three to 14 uses a child restraint, if available, or seat belt if available; and (c) infants under three must be strapped into a car seat where possible.


A public awareness campaign

A rigorous public awareness campaign is needed, notably in lower income areas, where seatbelt compliance drops, and where children are vulnerable on pavements and playing in streets, to risky  driving practices. 


Our primary focus should be on educating children about road safety, both within vehicles and on the streets, so children assume a degree of responsibility for their own welfare.


Take personal responsibility

Drivers need reminding it is their responsibility by law to ensure children are always seated in the backseat and secured with a seatbelt. 


The use of a seatbelt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 40 – 50% for drivers and front-seat passengers, and by up to 25% for rear-seat occupants.


Access to car seats

Access to safe, cost-effective car seats must be a focus. Car safety seats (child restraints) reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 % for infants, and 54 % for toddlers (Arrive Alive).


ABC is partnering with Wheel well for the donation of car seats. Drop your Car seats at SupaQuick, Renault Car Dealerships and Skynet nationwide.



Be Quick to Click, Protect Your Head and African Brain Child have partnered with Childsafe, the Child Accident Prevention Foundation and Southern Africa.


Childsafe, an injury prevention unit based at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is a non-profit organization that aims to reduce and prevent injuries of children through research, education and recommendations to legislation.


Download the full Be Quick to Click report and learn the full extent of this problem.

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