Zero to Supa-hero in 500 car seats

You don’t need a cape to be a superhero…

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 yet this legislation is often ignored and misunderstood.

I remember clearly, after the birth of Rosie, being escorted from the hospital by a nurse so that she could check that we had a car seat installed in our car. I felt like I was being herded to detention. I panicked even though I knew we had a car seat, but I completely respected and appreciated the hospital’s diligence because, in reality, they are the ones dealing with the aftermath of not using proper child restraints whilst driving.

Using a car seat reduces the risk of your child dying in a car crash by up to 71% and reduces the possibility of hospitalization by up to 69%

These statistics are undeniable, it would be foolish (to put it mildly) to not utilize a car seat for your child however, whilst I want to condemn parents driving without protective seating for their children, I am acutely aware of the poop storm that has been 2020. The unemployment level has risen, during lockdown, to 42% – many can barely afford the essentials of living, supporting their families and paying bills so the upkeep of a car seat, or even the purchase of one might be the last thought on their minds. The reality is new car seats are expensive.

We are fortunate to have a newer model of car with an ISO fix feature which most car seats now have – it means that placing a car seat is easier and less time consuming. But older car and car seat models often require a Master’s degree to install them and according to a recent report of journeys taken on the road (found here) only 7.8% of child passengers were properly fastened and restrained.

So, what is the solution?

We can keep screaming about the importance of car seats till we’re blue in the face but we also need an affordable way to get car seats to those who need them the most and Supa Quick is one of the heroes for the task.

Supa Quick has partnered with Wheel Well, a non-profit organisation dedicated to road safety for children, to secure points across SA where South Africans can drop off their unwanted, or no-longer-used car seats so they can be cleaned and fixed up to be given where needed. This process makes safety attainable, for all!

Car seats are known to have a lifespan, with proper care, of 6-10 years which means your unused car seat could afford another family the safety needed for their everyday car journeys.

“Supa Quick currently boasts a network of over 200 fitment centres around the country,” says Supa Quick brand manager, Yolandi Grundeling. “Through our vast national footprint, we are able to make a real difference. People wanting to donate a car seat won’t need to travel far, as a Supa Quick store is likely around the corner from their home or work.”

What is Wheel Well?

Wheel Well South Africa was founded in 2012 by Peggie Mars, a woman with a mission and a leading expert in child car seats and road safety for children. Her compassion and special connection with children filters down to her team who all harbour the qualities she herself embodies – patience, empathy, and kindness – while being highly skilled and knowledgeable in their field.

The company is unique in that it is the only one in the world like it, where used car seats are collected from donors, refurbished to high compliance standards, and redistributed to families in need. Today, more than 9,000 car seats have been donated.

What happens to the car seats that are donated

  1. Wheel Well collects pre-loved child car seats from drop-off points like Supa Quick
  2. They test if the seat is in a condition to be refurbished
  3. They clean and recondition to as good-as-new state and up to EU regulations and standards
  4. The car seats are then redistributed to lower-income families

How can you get involved?

Dust off your old car seat and take it to your local Supa Quick and help them reach their target of collecting 500 car seats for Wheel Well this year!

Support the initiative by sharing the information with friends and family.

Most importantly, making sure your little ones are securely fastened when you drive, no matter how short the journey.

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