Turn your child into a happy traveller with Clamber Club and Safeway
Safety is first priority
From the first time your baby goes home from the hospital, you as a parent are responsible for your child’s safety in a car. “We understand that safety is every parent’s number one concern and a correctly installed car seat is one way to assure your child’s safety whilst travelling in a car,” comments Elise Lustig, owner of Safeway Vehicle Restraints. In fact, a car seat could save your child's life during an accident. Arrive Alive Research Data and Statistics on the importance of seatbelts and restraining toddlers in car seats reveal that when correctly installed and used, car seats can reduce the risk of death for infants by 70% and by 47–54% for children between one and four.
Car seat use is now compulsory for all children under the age of three in South Africa. Motorists who do not strap babies and toddlers in can expect to be fined under the new amendment of the National Road Traffic Act, which came into effect on 1 May 2015. “Every parent knows that their child’s safety is a number one priority, buying an appropriate car seat for your child’s weight, size and age is a huge step in the right direction,” Lustig advises.
A car seat should preferably be installed in the backseat of a vehicle. “However, if the front seat really is the only option, parents must make sure the passenger-side air bag is turned off,” Lustig adds. It is also important to correctly strap the child in so he/she is comfortable but snug. Before every trip, no matter how short, Lustig advises parents to check that the harness has been correctly adjusted to suit the child and the clothing he/she is wearing.
Banish travel boredom for your baby
Once your child is securely fastened into his/her car seat, it is time for the ‘fun’ to begin. “Going on a family holiday used to be quite a challenge for us as our four boys (ranging in age from eight months to nine years old) would get bored and start teasing each other and fighting. Inevitably, someone would end up in tears,” comments Jenny Shapiro, Clamber Club mom of Daniel, Elan, Tyler and Levi.
“Children often become frustrated when travelling in a car and this is when the whining and crying begins,” says Play Therapist, Kerry Skinner. For young children strapped into a car seat, this frustration is most often due to boredom rather than any physical discomfort. “But keep the child entertained, and you will have yourself a happy traveller!” she adds. “By using action-orientated songs and games, parents can turn a potentially unhappy situation into a positive and rewarding one,” comments Liz Senior, Occupational Therapist and Founder of Clamber Club.
Clamber Club has launched a range of ‘action songs for kids’ CDs, which are specially designed to stimulate babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. “The CDs are a natural extension of our Clamber Club programme, which is based upon child stimulation through action, music and fun,” says Senior. “Since introducing the Clamber Club Car Sanity Saver CD to the car, every journey with the boys is a joy!” adds Shapiro.
Keeping children entertained while in their car seats is not just for your sanity’s sake. It is also a subtle way for parents to show the child who is boss. “Instead of giving in to soothing the child, rewarding them with treats or heaven forbid, taking them out of their safety harness, parents are able to use song and the power of distraction to win this backseat war,” says Skinner.
“By using the Clamber Club music at the beginning of each journey, the child will form positive associations with their car seat and become a happy traveller. Fun will replace frustration and road trips will become everyone’s favourite family holiday,” Senior concludes.
Games to play in the car with your children:
Instead of relying solely on the use of tablets and in-car DVD screens, keep your children entertained with these fun activities:
- Play the Clamber Club Car Sanity Saver CD and let your child choose a toy for the actions
- Pack a toy bag (with your child’s help) or tie toys onto the car’s coat hooks or handles for easy access
- Play ‘I Spy’ together
- Introduce story time with props like finger puppets, dolls sock puppets and soft toys.