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Children should be seen and not hurt

Car crashes are the leading external cause of death for children. (NIMSS, 2008) Over 17,000 people die on South African roads every year. Of these 17,000, 2,883 are children, out of which nearly 65% are pedestrians. (Health, 2012) Children from the lowest social class are 3 times more likely to be killed on the roads as pedestrians than their peers from the highest social class. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598316/

Our most vulnerable road users are pedestrians, the most vulnerable pedestrians are children and the most vulnerable children are from our low-income communities. (WC Government)

Why reflective gear for Children?

Schoolchildren often have to wear very dark uniforms as they make their way to and from school every day. Whether they are walking, cycling or just crossing the road after being dropped off in a vehicle, it can be hard to see our darkly clad children especially on dark winter mornings and again when daylight is fading. Many adults are keeping themselves bright – but what about our children? It’s only fair to offer our children the same safety measures many of us take as adults – by helping them to be brighter.

Children are at risk for road traffic injuries for a number of reasons. Younger children are limited by their physical, cognitive and social development, making them more vulnerable in road traffic than adults. Because of their small stature, it can be difficult for children to see surrounding traffic and for drivers and others to see them. In addition if they are involved in a road traffic crash, their softer heads make them more susceptible to serious head injury than adults. Younger children may have difficulties interpreting various sights and sounds, which may impact on their judgement regarding the proximity, speed and direction of moving vehicles. Younger children may also be impulsive, and their short attention spans mean that they struggle to cope with more than one challenge at a time. In general roads and suburbs are planned without sufficient consideration of the specific needs of children.

Globally, around 186 300 children under 18 years die from road traffic crashes annually. In addition, rates of road traffic death among children are 3 times higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. (WHO May 2015)

The use of reflective gear would not only save pedestrian lives, but would also save drivers from the potential emotional pain, inconvenience and danger of hitting a pedestrian, as well as possible criminal charges. If a driver kills a pedestrian at night, the driver may be charged with culpable homicide, even though 80% of drivers involved in pedestrian collisions, never saw the pedestrian they hit. http://www.safetyreflectors.com/education.html

Why Beanies?

Children are active, busy little people and they tend to take off anything that interferes with their mobility. Beanies are more likely to be worn by children as they go about their business from the dark early mornings going to school till late afternoons when their parents get home. The added benefit is that the beanies will keep these kids from low-income families warm during our cold and dark winters.

Beanies reflective trim

To ensure a safer pedestrian population, Wheel Well is manufacturing beanies with reflective trims. The beanies will keep children and adults warm as well as lighting them up for all to see. The beanies come in black, navy, dark green, grey and maroon with green reflective trim. They are non-toxic and washable. One size fits all. The summer hats are cool and will keep the sun off the faces of our little beloveds and they are still lit up in the headlights for all to see.

Case Studies

Reflective and high visibility clothing have become a standard in industries where employees are working amongst vehicles. Is the leap to equipping our children with this type of clothing not logical? Please see link below for case studies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-visibility_clothing

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