Thai children's deaths in road accidents, second only to deaths by drowning, have been blamed on as few as 1 per cent of the country's parents using child car seats, a recent study showed yesterday.
Since child car seats can boost safety for infants by 70 per cent, Dr Adisak Plitponkarnpim, director of Ramathibodi Hospital’s Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre, called on the government to cut down on import tax on the product so more parents can afford them. There is a 30-per-cent surcharge on child car seats at present. He also urged the authorities to strictly enforce traffic laws, adding that parents should put their children in the backseat as it is five times safer.
In 2011, 614 children under the age of 15 died from road accidents, of which 21 per cent were infants and of the total, 101 were inside a car. He said such child deaths rose significantly during the Songkran holidays, pointing out that of the children killed in road accidents, most were either not wearing a seatbelt or were not secured in car seats.