East African top lifestyle retailer, Deacons Kenya Limited (DKL) through its Babyshop brand launched its second annual child safety campaign to sensitize parents and guardians on child safety on the roads and also at home.
This comes at a time, when 2 out of every 5 road accidents victims are reported to be children below 10 years according to traffic police data.
According to Deacons Kenya Limited Chief Executive Officer Muchiri Wahome, the campaign dubbed ‘Child Safety First’ is meant to create awareness on the measures parents should take to keep their children safe on the roads as well as in the home; as a way of saving thousands of children dying in roads accidents annually as well as home related causes of child deaths.
Kenya has one of the highest road accident records in the world, with official statistics showing at least 3,000 people are killed annually. This has prompted the government to come up with tougher rules to curb the loss of lives witnessed over the years.
“Though measures are being taken to curb road accidents on our roads, childrens’ safety has always been compromised with some parents traveling with kids on their laps while others play in cars or even stick their heads out of moving car windows,” explained Mr. Muchiri.
The one month long babyshop child safety campaign is part of the retailer’s child safety campaign that takes place once every year.
“The objective is to sensitize parents, drivers and caregivers on measures to take to reduce rising cases of children deaths and the maiming of our future generation. There are many cases of road accidents, in which children are among fatalities, which could be prevented if the correct safety measures were followed,” explained Mr Muchiri.
According to Muchiri one of the first safety measures while on the road is to acquire car seats for children, depending on their age, weight and height. However, many parents are either buying the wrong seats for their cars, wrong for the child or wrongly fitting them.
“We have five different types of car seats and will be able to guide parents on what seats are suitable for their children,” said Muchiri.
The car seats available at Babyshop include infant car seats for those from birth up to 9kg, convertible car seats from birth to 18kgs and toddler car seat for those between 9 and 18kgs.
Also available are high booster back seats for kids between 10 and 36kgs and booster car seats for kids between 15 to 36kgs and whose height is between 101 to 150centimetres.
“It is shocking that some parents also use adult seat belts as a means to restrain kids’ movements as they drive, without knowing such measures are futile as such children have small bodies to correctly fit in them,” explained Muchiri.
A study done by a UK car seat fitting clinic revealed that if children’s travel and the necessity of a baby car seat were taken seriously, it would help stem increased loss of innocent lives in road accidents by up to 60 percent.
“Protecting children is of paramount importance, which is why car seats are prepared to withstand a storm, rather than a trip to the supermarket,” Muchiri said.
The child safety campaign kicked off on 21st October and will run upto 17th November 2013 at all babyshop stores in Nairobi namely Sarit Centre, Thika Road and The Junction Mall.
“We are also offering Up to 30 percent discount on selected safety items to our customers throughout the campaign period and as stock last,” explained Muchiri.