Category: Parenting

Be Safe with #CarseatFullstop: How to choose a car seat

#CarseatFullstop

Purchasing a car seat is the single most important decision you will make as a parent. In South Africa, it is illegal to travel in a car with a child under 3 years old not strapped into an approved child safety seat. However, every child under 1.5m tall (between 10 and 12 years old) needs some form of support to travel safely in a car.

International leaders in the development, manufacture and testing of car seats, BeSafe collaborates extensively with research institutes, organisations promoting road safety and traffic related medical institutions worldwide. BeSafe’s South African team, Born Fabulous, has teamed up with national car seat awareness initiative #CarseatFullstop and NPO Wheel Well, to share as much information, awareness and best practice for car seats and car seat safety specifically with the South African market.

#CarseatFullstop

How to choose the right car seat for your child

There are 3 stages of car seat: the infant, toddler and child booster seat.

Your infant seat should be used from birth up to 13kgs, or until their head is more than 1 inch below the top of the headrest, when the headrest is in its highest position.

Infant seats should be a “bucket” shape to hold your baby securely. They should have a 5-point harness, several recline positions, and should only ever be installed facing backwards. Never turn your baby forward facing before they are 13kgs and at the very least 1 years old.

DID YOU KNOW?

The carry handle of an infant seat has a secondary purpose? When installing the seat, pull the handle towards the backrest of the seat to create a “roll cage” effect.

Toddler car seats should be used from the time your child is 13kgs until they are at least 18kgs, or the weight specified with the “Y” on the orange sticker on the side of the seat. It will have a 5-point harness, that should be easily adjustable with the headrest to just below the shoulders on a rear-facing child and just above the shoulders on a forward-facing child.

There are two kinds of toddler car seats, the convertible seat that allows forward- and rear-facing and the exclusively rear-facing car seat. For safety, your child should rear-face for as long as possible, ideally until at least the age of 4 years old.

Rear-facing car seats are slowly becoming available in South Africa, most commonly the seats that allow rear-facing to 18kgs (around 3-4 years old). The orange sticker on the side of the seat will clearly indicate until what weight the seat can face rearwards. Always check this.

DID YOU KNOW?

Rear-facing car seats are safer for developing bodies than forward facing car seats. There are 2 car seats in South Africa that allow for rear-facing up to 25kgs, which is between 4 and 6 years old.

The child booster seat is used between 15 and 36kgs (4 – 10/12 years old) and is forward facing. You should only ever purchase a high-backed booster seat. The back rest should provide “wings” that offer side impact protection, protecting the child’s head and neck. The high-back booster will have guides to direct your car’s three-point seatbelt through. This positions the seat belt safely over the strongest points on your child – the shoulder, chest and upper thighs – as opposed to their vulnerable neck and stomach.

DID YOU KNOW?

A car seat belt is designed to be used for an adult male over 1.5m tall. Its job is to distribute the force of a crash to the body’s strongest points – mid-shoulder, chest and pelvis. On a child, a seat belt sits over their 2 most vulnerable points – the neck/throat and the belly area containing all the vital organs. The seat belt becomes a definitive danger to a child who isn’t using a booster seat to protect them from it.

There are a few tips that are relevant no matter which stage your child is in.

1. Consult your car’s manual. Check if your car has ISOFIX anchors. An ISOFIX car seat cannot be used without it. Check where the recommended positioning of a car seat is in your car.

2. Try your child in the seat in your car before making your purchase. Check if your seat belt is long enough to install the seat correctly. With rear-facing seats, ensure that there is sufficient space between the seat and the front seat to allow safe installation. Check where the belts sit when threaded through the booster seat guides on your child.

3. Always follow the installation instructions in the car seat manual. An incorrectly installed car seat is NOT safe.

4. The car seat harness should not have any twists when fastened. It is only tight enough when you cannot pinch the fabric of the belt between your fingers at all.

5. Your child should never wear a bulky jacket, jersey or blanket under the harness. Place the blanket or jacket over the secured harness.

6. Do not use any belt positioner, cover, insert, pillow or other product that is not sold with the seat by the manufacturer. If it hasn’t been crash tested with the seat your child is in, it could stop the seat from doing its job.

#CarseatFullstop

This post was written by Mandy Lee Miller | Creator & Director of #CarseatFullstop

Meet the Mommy [Week 9] – Charlene

A while back I was thinking about how all the moms I know are different in many ways – be it their parenting style, or whether they go to work, stay at home, or work from home. Some have one little person, while others have three or four. Some of our babies began their journey inside us learning the sound of our heartbeat, whilst some began in another only to meet us later and hold our hearts forever. Whatever the differences in how we became moms, how we parent… Being a mom, plus ALL that comes with it, is what we all have in common.

And that’s how I came up with the idea for this feature – a short interview with regular moms like you and I (short, because for moms, the time struggle is real yo!). Here we’ll get to “meet” different mommies, and find out a little about them.

This week we meet mommy blogger (and my curly hair + name twin 😊), Charlene from Pretty Please Charlie. I’ve been a fan of Charlene’s blog for a few years now, so I’m really excited about featuring her on mine today.

1. Please tell us a little – or a lot (we like details) – about yourself?

My name is Charlene and I am an almost 40 year old dog-loving, wine drinking, chocolate eating, technologically impaired Capetonian. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and we have a 6 year old little girl. I work full time and after hours (or when the boss isn’t looking) I blog about beauty, parenting and lifestyle. My family and friends are my everything. And the older I get, the more I realise that my life would mean nothing without them. I also love rock music, tattoos, sushi, watching Friends, singing in the car and lately I’ve developed a tiny (read: huge) crush on Ed Sheeran.

Meet Mommy - Charlene

2. What’s the one thing you find most challenging about being a working / stay at home mom?

Time. Oh my word. There are not enough hours in the day. Between my 8 to 5, blogging, cooking, cleaning, (trying my best at) being an attentive wife and a devoted mother, I struggle to keep all the balls in the air. I tend to drop one now and then.

3. We all know there are challenging moments – moments which call for chocolate, or wine (or both), to soothe those mommy nerves… Forgetting all that though, what is your absolute favourite thing about being a mom?

That’s easy. When Cara puts her hands on my cheeks, looks me straight in the eye and says ‘I love you to the moon and back’. Then I know I’m doing something right.

4. From the experience you’ve gained since becoming a parent, what is a pretty cool piece of advice you would give to other moms?

Listen to all the advice, but, in the end, do what your gut tells you. And be kind to yourself! You are a better mom than you think. Oh, and white Dove bar soap does wonders for cradle cap. 😉

5. Share with us one of the funniest moments you’ve had since becoming a mom.

The first one that comes to mind, is when Cara decided that the best time to have a wee was while we were posing for a newborn shoot. She was wearing her ‘birthday suit’ and I was drenched. It made for a funny photo though.

6. Please tell us where we can find you online

Blog: Pretty Please Charlie
Twitter: MsCharlieW
Instagram: pretty_please_charlie
Facebook: Pretty Please Charlie

Thank you Charlene for giving us a glimpse into your life as a mom. 🙂

Meet the Mommy [Week 8] – Puveshree

A while back I was thinking about how all the moms I know are different in many ways – be it their parenting style, or whether they go to work, stay at home, or work from home. Some have one little person, while others have three or four. Some of our babies began their journey inside us learning the sound of our heartbeat, whilst some began in another only to meet us later and hold our hearts forever. Whatever the differences in how we became moms, how we parent… Being a mom, plus ALL that comes with it, is what we all have in common.

And that’s how I came up with the idea for this feature – a short interview with regular moms like you and I (short, because for moms, the time struggle is real yo!). Here we’ll get to “meet” different mommies, and find out a little about them.

Today we meet lovely mommy blogger, Puveshree. She and I knew each other as kids, and reconnected recently thanks to SA Mom Blogs most recent Meetup. I’m so happy to be featuring her today.

1. Please tell us a little about yourself?

I am a thirty something wife and mum who still troubles her amazing parents when she needs extra support and advice. Working in corporate by day and a newbie blogger by night and weekends. Married to a handsome nerd (my kind of guy 😉)with the kindest soul. We have a beautiful soon to be 2 year old girl with the strongest will power I have ever seen… she shows it the most at bedtime. My life is filled with giggles and cuddles together with toys, books, walks in the park, food and 2 adorable dogs.

My husband is also in corporate so we understand the pressures and joy work brings to our lives. Luckily, my husband is SUPERMAN and fills the role of nappy changer, bottle washer, dancing partner to our little girl, tea maker and foot massager to me. This allows me to spend time learning about blogging which I hope to do more of as soon as I get to understand this world in more detail.

My favourite pastime apart from spending time with my family is to create food recipes, taste test new foods on the market and shop online or at malls. I simply love grocery shopping and secretly wish one day I can make a career of it (not so much a secret once this is published). We love to travel and my favourite holiday destination for a relaxed holiday has to be the Maldives (we honeymooned here) and for a city holiday has to be Bath in the UK.

Meet mommy - Puveshree family

2. What’s the one thing you find most challenging about being a working / stay at home mom?

This is an easy one for me; it’s the feeling of guilt when I work 10-12 hour days in the office as I know my little girl is missing her mommy so much. Sometimes she is asleep when we leave and when we return from work; it’s not often but it does happen. My heart and soul aches on those days, however it’s those days that remind us to make precious memories on other days because we don’t take our time together for granted.

3. We all know there are challenging moments – moments which call for chocolate, or wine (or both), to soothe those mommy nerves. Forgetting all that though, what is your absolute favourite thing about being a mom?

My giggling little girl running towards me with her arms wide open, and giving me the biggest hug and kiss whenever she sees me, whether it’s after a day of work, I just left the room to go do something and returned, or I’m sitting on the couch and she has finished dancing infront of me to her favourite songs, or at the park when we are running towards each other. In a nutshell, it’s the feeling of unconditional love for each other, it makes me happy.

Meet mommy - Puveshree baby

4. From the experience you’ve gained since becoming a parent, what is a pretty cool piece of advice you would give to other moms?

Find something you love doing and DO IT, it will make you a better mom and wife. I believe it’s a pathway to spiritual wellbeing and holistic wellness for you and your family to thrive in a tranquil ecosystem.

Teach your kids healthy eating habits, treats in moderation and make exercise the norm; it’s something I have started to truly value given my weightloss journey and the challenges I am still battling to overcome. I know it’s more than one piece of advice, but these are really close to my heart and wanted to share.

5. Share with us one of the funniest moments you’ve had since becoming a mom?

Earlier I mentioned my daughter shows her will power before bedtime, this also transpires at nap time. It was starting to get late for her afternoon nap so I decided to rock her and sing to her to help her fall asleep. It seemed to be helping and her eyes slowly closed, and as they closed completely she used her tiny little fingers to hold them open; it was the funniest and cutest thing I have ever seen. I could not help but burst out laughing, I knew it was not the right thing to do but it was hilarious at the moment… a true Kodak moment in our books.

Meet mommy - Puveshree

6. Please tell us where we can find you online?

Instagram: puveshree_lifesatreat_za
Blog: Life’s A Treat

Thank you Puveshree for giving us a glimpse into your life as a mom. 🙂