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Deaths on the road is the second largest cause of infant mortality after drowning in Thailand, a statistic that has been blamed on parents who do not use child car seats. According to a recent study as few as 1% of parents use child car seats that can boost safety for infants by 70%.
The director of Ramathibodi Hospital’s Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre, Dr. Adisak Plitponkarnpim has called on the Government to reduce the import tax on car seats to make them more affordable to parents.
Currently there is a 30% surcharge on car seats. He has also urged the authorities to strictly enforce traffic laws and went on to say that parents should put their children in the back seats of their vehicles as it is five times safer than the front seat.
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.