All of us see the hazards presented by other peoples vehicles and our children, few of of us consider the extreme risk that our own car/vehicles present, Many children sadly have been injured and killed by drivers not checking where their children are in relation to the car before driving off or reversing, or the rear door being opened whilst en-route.
Another hazard is the child being left in the car alone, Rarely do Fire-fighters arrive at the scene of a car fire to save the occupants!! Think, invaribly it is other road users that attempt the rescue, made more difficult because you locked the car!
"But I was only going to be a minute"
Unquote. Accidents have happened even after a the shortest of time periods and in a number of instances with serious and disastrous consequences.
Do not encourage children to play with, or activate the controls of your car, if repeated without your knowledge this could lead to accidents, for instance child locks being insecure when you believe them to be otherwise, handbrake being released.
As an ex Fire Officer I have seen and can foresee the dangers of leaving children in cars, please consider the position yourselves before walking away from the car with you child left inside it! And worse still locked inside it! Yes it does happen. Be assured it is every fireman's nightmare to arrive at a car fire and find occupants inside.
Please do not let it happen to you or your family. As a parent who has had the misfortune to loose a child there is nothing worse. It is devastating.
Children and Car Keys are a danger in themselves. Keys left in the ignition in the presence of a child is even worse, An inquisitive child will be well aware of what Daddy or Mummy did to get the car moving even if it is only letting off the handbrake and a teenager will almost certainly be able to get the car moving, if not drive it? If you do not want your child or the children of others endangered while in your car then please remember to remove the keys from the ignition, when working on the car, or just popping back indoors, or back into the shop for that odd item you have just forgotten.
Rear door child safety locks.
The rear doors of the car can be secured to prevent children's from opening doors without supervision.
*To secure. Simply move the switch to the
position. The door can be opened from outside. * Move to
position to return the door lock to normal use. Note
Although the central locking switch, situated below the Hazard Warning Switch on the dash, will still operate the plungers on all 4 doors and the Plungers will still drop and rise as normal when the car starts & stops, neither will have any effect on the security of the child lock.
The Rear Windows
Switches can also be isolated to prevent operation by children en-route, this facility is carried out by moving the switch marked 'B' above, to expose the child symbol. All windows can still be operated from the front driver passenger position. Or in the case of the alternative switch (below) the (X) cross on the window indicates it is unusable when the open dot is covered. The isolation feature is off i.e. window will operate as shown.
In addition to the windows being isolated when the child symbol is visible the window switch illumination facility will not operate when other lights are lit.
Child seat recognition.
Special Child seats are required on front passenger seat for the automatic child seat recognition. (AKSE transponder) These child seats can be obtained from any Mercedes-Benz /Service centres.
*The front passenger airbag is automatically deactivated when a (seat fitted with the AKSE transponder) is fitted and correctly installed on the front passenger seat.
* The deactivation of the airbag will be indicated when the AIRBAG warning lamp lights up
on the centre console.
Activation of airbags Please note the Word Special is implying a Mercedes-Benz child/infant seat, which is fitted with a AKSE transponder (devise to deactivate the air bag) Other makes of child seat not fitted with this special devise, placed on the front passenger seat will not isolate the airbag, and may therefore, in the event of a serious accident place the child/infant in extreme danger.
Having a two year old grandchild it was time for me to purchase a Childs seat. I visited Halfords where they have a wide range. I opted for the' Maxi-Cozi' Priori. XP. which is fully adjustable and meets all the new requirements for children's seating in vehicles. it is easy to secure the seat into the vehicle and also the child into the seat. Halfords staff will show you how to fit the seat safely & correctly into your car before you leave the store. Cost on reduction £109.99.
NOTE that the photo shows I have reversed the head rest behind the seat, this was to ensure the seat is correctly fitted and not affected by the rest. The headrest can be easily reversed if required. The opening of the parcel shelf opening is not affected by this alteration.
This is the next stage up for young children, it is compatable with isofix , if you have the facility on your car the standard seat belt is used, and if fitted correctrectly is very secure offering complete protection for the child. In this case an extra pad has been purchased, this fixes around the belt giving extra padding if the car is forced to stop suddenly. The head rest is adjustable and will last the child for some years.