Simulator shows the effect of an unprotected crash at 30 km/h
Simulator shows the effect of an unprotected crash at 30 km/h

QCOSTARICA – Each year between 48 and 51 children die in traffic accidents. In the majority of the fatal crashes, the deaths could have been avoided with the proper use of child restraints.

For this, the director of the Hospital Nacional de Niños (Children’s Hospital in San José), Olga Arguedas, is calling on parents to ensure their children are wearing seatbelts at all times.

Arguedas added that, in addition to the deaths on site, about 125 children are admitted to the medical centre with serious injuries from collisions. The number represents 10% of hospital admissions.

The figures were released as part of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2015 (May 4 to 10) dedicated to the protection of the children on the roads.

The doctor insisted the difference between death and life is the use of a seat belt and additional protective equipment for small children. For example, the belt could prevent a child suffers injury in the central nervous system and fractures in long bones such as legs and arms, according to the doctor.

To bring the message home to parents, the Automóvil Club  de Costa Rica (Automobile Club) uses a simulator of traffic accidents. The device serves to illustrate what would happen if a person does not use seatbelt in a collision at 30 km/h.

According to the UN, around 186,300 children under 18 years die from road traffic crashes annually, and rates of road traffic death are three times higher in developing countries than in developed countries.  That number translates to an average of around 500 deaths each and every day.

The UN has prepared a presentation, Ten strategies for keeping children safe on the road. If you or anyone you know has children, please take the time to read the advice.