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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Car Seat Safety

Pushchairs and Car Seats have been selling and fitting car seats for over 15 years. Sometimes the best thing we can do regarding child safety is give advice rather than selling a product. With that in mind we have put together some information regarding car seat safety that you maybe didn't know.

* 80% of child car seats are incorrectly fitted.

* All Car Seats have to pass a UK safety standard called ECE R44.04. This safety standard is not as rigorous as it could be (for example does not include side impact testing) and many seats are tested to a much higher standard using the swedish plus test. The new Isize regulations ( R129 ) being introduced now will recommend children are rear facing up to 15 months and have a greater emphasis on the height of the child.

* Car seats are all classed in 3 groups, Group 0+ (birth-13kg). Group 1 (9-18kg) , and Group 2/3 (18-36kg)

* Children are not tiny adults. At a birth a childs head represents around 40% of his or her bodyweight. At 1 year old it is around 25% of his or her bodyweight. Bones are not fully developed which means that the spine and internal organs are at greater risk.

* In a frontal impact crash at 30 mph, everything in your car travels forwards with a force of 25 times it's own mass. This means that adults in the back of the car travel forward weighing the equivalent of 3 tonnes.

* When a collision occurs at 50 km/h (31 mph) the stress inflicted on the neck of a child that weighs 15 kg and is seated in a forward facing position will be the equivalent of 180-220 kg. If the child instead is seated rear facing, the stress would be reduced to 40-60kg.

* The world leading country in terms of child safety in a car is Sweden. Between July 2006 and November 2007 not a single child under the age of 6 years old was killed in a car crash.

* The most powerful collisions we are likely to be involved in are front impact and in such collisions a rear-facing child seat reduces the risk of injury by around 90%, compared to 50% in a forward-facing seat.

* In the UK the law states that your child must be in a child restraint system until they are either 1.35m tall, weigh 36kg or are 12 years old. Crash Test dummies do not have ages so it is the weight or height that is usually the key factor.

* Booster cushions provide almost no protection for the childs head, neck or spine. A high back booster or Group 2/3 car seat may be more expensive but provides much greater protection. In the UK around 200 children are killed or injured in car crashes ever year. Fortunately this number is falling. 

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