The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) supports the Malaysian Paediatric Association’s (MPA) press statement emphasising the importance of child car seats in the prevention of child injuries following recent reports of an incident where a child was thrown out of a moving car onto a busy main road.
We urge all parents to prioritise the safety of their children by ensuring a child car seat is used when travelling by car with their child on board; even if their destination is a short distance away.
Child car seats are proven to reduce the risk for injury in a crash by 71 to 82 per cent for children, when compared with seat belt use alone.
Although there is a ruling in Malaysia to use a child car seat when transporting newborns to children aged 12 (effective from January 2020), there has been no enforcement.
In Malaysia, the Child Restraint System (CRS) regulation has been gazetted by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) under the Road Transport Act 1978 – Motor Vehicles (Safety Seatbelts) (Amendment) Rules 2019.
On January 1, 2020, the law was implemented for private vehicles. The rules stated that CRS used in Malaysia must comply with the UNR standard (R44 or R129) and children must weigh less than 36kg, or with a height less than 136cm, or aged below 12 years old.
For this ruling to be effective, there must be some form of enforcement. For now, in the absence of a decision (on enforcement), the police could do their part by advising parents traveling with their young ones (newborn to 12 years old) to prioritise safety by using a child car seat.
More awareness is also needed on MYCRS — a subsidy programme for the B40 and M40 groups for the purchase of child safety seats sponsored by the government.
Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz is president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
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