The Jing Chuan Child Safety Foundation yesterday ranked last year’s top 10 major news stories about child safety, with the death of a boy in a child safety seat mistakenly placed in the front passenger seat topping the list.
The child safety watchdog said the list mostly involved traffic incidents and the well being of children at home. After meeting other experts on the subject, the foundation said the most significant child safety news story was that of a boy who died in a traffic accident in Miaoli County in September.
The boy was sitting in a child seat that had been installed in the front passenger seat. As the seat was designed to be installed in the back seat of a car, it did not function properly when the vehicle was involved in an accident.
No. 2 on the list was the case in which an infant choked to death after being fed a jelly snack. Other top news stories involved a child’s ear being bitten off by a dog and various traffic accidents in which children died or were seriously injured after being run over by reckless drivers.
Foundation chief executive Lin Yue-chin (林月琴) said the safety of children was contingent on the behavior of parents and other adults.
For example, parents who put child seats up front clearly did not follow proper instructions for using the safety seat, causing it to become very unsafe, she said.
“Adults who are not careful when driving, especially when reversing their vehicles, account for many of the unfortunate accidents involving children that could have easily been avoided,” Lin said.
Lin said that during the Lunar New Year holiday, when many families hit the road to visit friends and relatives or go out on trips, it is especially important to be careful and follow the instructions when using car safety seats.
Children who are old enough to sit without a car seat should also buckle up. Parents are advised to exit the vehicle with their children rather than letting children exit the car first, she said.