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Nigerians & Car Seats

October 09, 2017 1 Comment

Nigerians & Car Seats

 One of my favourite past times is people watching – I love it! Especially if there’s a baby involved. My ovaries start doing komole, skelewu, azonto and all those millennial epileptic-like dance steps. And if you live in Lagos like I do, a fair amount of your people-watching will be done in traffic – Eko o ni baje o!

Lagos Traffic

Now imagine you are on 3rd mainland, just going jejely in ‘go-slow’ and you spot a cute little 9month old smiling at you, you and your ovaries smile back, next thing you spot that instead of this little munchkin to be bundled in a car-seat, she is in someone’s arms/laps.

You and your ovaries freeze, in fact that smile is rapidly turning upside down into a frown, you can’t help it. You glare at the owner of said arms/laps who isn’t wearing a seat belt, they glare back and you can spiritually perceive their heartfelt hiss at you for being a weirdo who not only glares at babies but won’t mind her business. You kukuma face your front, but your heart won’t let you be. You say a silent prayer to Baba God to watch over that cuddly baby girl with the cute smile and hope the occupants of the car make it home in one piece.

I am not sure why there isn’t more sensitization and awareness on the need for infant car seats. In Western climates, the hospital won’t even release your child to you unless you have the RIGHT KIND OF CAR SEAT installed in your car – no ifs, no buts. So for the life of me, I don’t understand how people will do Russian Roulette with their babies’ life. Let’s face facts, according to FRSC, Nigerians are twice more likely to die from a car accident than from crime, 15 people die daily from traffic-related accidents and in the first 9 months of 2016, Lagos alone recorded 2401 road accidents. If that doesn’t alarm you then please just ignore this post, your heart don hard!

Picture: Graph showing causes of fatalities in Nigeria based on a 2006-2013 study carried out by IFRA. According to Nigeria Watch Database, Traffic accidents account for the most fatalities in Nigeria. Montclos, M.-A. P. (2016). Violence in Nigeria: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis. Ibadan: Africa Studies Centre

Apparently in the US, according to their National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the age of 3 & 6 years and 8 to 14years. The NHTSA goes on to report that car seats reduce fatalities by 54%!!! You can’t beat those odds with a stick!

So why? What’s the main reason why a lot of people don’t use car seats for their kids in Nigeria? Is it affordability? Well, thank God for Cuddlecircle then! If you can’t afford a brand new car seat, get a gently used one from us. No one will know the difference and you can have peace of mind that you are still protecting your baby.

I can hear the wheels turning in your head like ‘OK, I’ve heard you – so which type should I get?’

  1. To be honest, I am not a fan of getting generic, ‘no brand name’, universal car seats because there may be safety concerns. What materials were used, is it JPMA certified? If that brand is not for sale in the US or UK I always wonder if they actually meet safety standards or if they are using Africa as a dumping ground. So I will recommend going for a brand you know and buying a recently used one from Cuddlecircle – we do our homework and stock highly reviewed car seats like Chicco, Britax, Graco, Cybex, Maxi Cosi etc. If you don’t agree with me, let me ask you a question – would you rather buy a brand new GoNow SUV or a fairly used Toyota Highlander? #Caseclosed!
  2. Make sure you buy a rear-facing seat if your baby is less than 12months old or at least a convertible car seat. The only drawback is you can’t move a convertible car seat out and about like you would an infant seat. Just imagine waking up a sleeping baby…eek – no Jose, not worth it. Just get a gently used infant car seat, use it with care, sell it on Cuddlecircle and buy a pre-owned convertible car seat when you need to. Savings galore! 
  3. One thing I find extremely useful in car seats is the ability to use the car seat without the base, i.e., using seatbelts. This is very helpful, if you use Uber/Taxify a lot or are in a two-car home, you can easily switch from car to car without bothering with the car seat base all the time. Also make sure to check that it has a 5 point harness (two shoulder straps, one waist strap and two that go under the leg), side impact protection, and if relevant, an infant insert so your baby’s neck isn’t falling awkwardly when napping.

So what are you waiting for? Pack all that ikomo money and buy a good car-seat from Cuddlecircle. Or better still, give it as a gift to the new mom you love - she will thank you forever!




1 Response

Abisola
Abisola

November 29, 2017

No one can do it like you do Giggz… funny, true and analytic post! Let’s reduce the alarming mortality and morbidity rates from road traffic Injuries. Affordable car seat= one saved child!
#Saynotolap-seating

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