30 years ago, car safety was so simple. To be safe, it was sufficient for the child be held upright, both hands firmly holding the front seat or the dashboard. More children would stand stronger, the safer it was! 30 years ago, seat belts and study on road safety were not very common.
Fortunately, nowadays, we are much more aware of the risks of car traveling and the ways to protect our babies have changed so much that many many parents are struggling to understand the difference between the vast number of car seats models available on the market.
Buckle up babies, it's the law
Car safety for babies and children are now part of most countries regulations : Not using adapted car seats for babies can lead to a fairly large fine.
In many countries, it is not the age that counts anymore, but the size of the child in a sitting position, ie from the bottom to the top of the head. So 7 or 8 years old children of small stature can be sitting in the same car seat as a younger child.
Baby car seats
For newborn babies (below 9 kilos/20 pounds or less than 66 centimeters/26 inches), parents have to use a proper baby car seat. The baby car seat has to be installed in the opposite direction to the traffic, in the back seat, to give a better protection to the neck and the chest of the child in the event of a collision or sudden braking. It is recommended to install the baby car seat this way until the child can stand alone, so until about 12 months.
If the car does not come equipped with an airbag on the passenger side, parents can use the front seat to install the baby car seat, as long as they make sure to back up the seat as far back as possible. However, if the car is equipped with an airbag on the front right side, the newborn car seat should never be installed at the front.
The seat for newborns should be installed at a 45 degrees angle. The baby should not be completely lying nor completely upright. If the seat can't incline at a 45 degrees angle, it is advisable to put a rolled towel under the seat to fix the angle.
At 50 km/h or 30miles/h, the weight of objects in motion is multiplied by 35. Therefore, when a collision occurs, the 9 kilos/20pounds baby now weighs 315kilos/700pounds. If not firmly attached to an appropriate seating, the child can fly to the dashboard or even be ejected from the vehicle.
Therefore, the use of a proper car seat for baby can save you child's life in case of accident.
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