People often do not realise how serious overheating in a car can be, it has been found that heatstroke or suspected heatstroke was the cause of death of 39 children from new born up to 14 years old in 2015. (Safe Kids)
An unrestrained passenger can cause just as much damage to other passengers in the car as they can to themselves as a passenger who has no restraint will be launched forward with a force between 30 to 60 times their body weight in a crash that is 30 mph. (How Stuff Works)
An unrestrained passenger will be thrown forward at the same speed in which the vehicle was travelling, until their body is stopped by something, may be the car in front of them. It is not impossibly to be ejected from the car, through one of the windows. These injuries are usually fatal. (Road Safety Observatory)
Unsecured items in the car, can be extremely dangerous in a collision. A box of tissues in a car can weigh as much as a house brick, if you suddenly stop at 30 mph. (Dorel Juvenile)
The number of children dying on our UK roads is unfortunately increasing every year with 69 children dying on our roads and in our cars in the UK in 2016, compared to 54 in 2015. As well as this, according to police reports, 2,033 children were seriously injured and 13,874 were slightly injured. (Department of Transport)
Of 119 infants who were in a trauma centre after a collision, only 67 were properly restrained, showing the importance of using the correct restraint. Properly restrained infants were 12.7 times less likely to go to a trauma centre after a collision (Journal of Paediatric Surgery)
In Sweden, children are kept rear-facing to at least 4 years of age but many parents keep their children rear-facing to around 6 years of age. Between July 2006 and November 2007 no Swedish child under the age of 6 was killed in a car crash (Source: VTI Sweden). However, according to the AA, in the UK every year 205 children are injured and 21 are killed in car crashes.
We are huge advocates of extended rear-facing as it has been shown to be so much safer in the event of a collision. Rear-facing child car seats can reduce the likelihood of both injury and death in small infants and young children by up to 90% in a crash. (Safety for the Growing Child – Experiences from Swedish Accident Data by Jakobsson L, Isaksson-Hellman I, Lundell B. 2005)
Using rear-facing seats can greatly reduce the stress inflicted on your child’s neck in a collision. In a collision of 31mph, a child that weighs 15kg who is in a forward-facing seat will have stress of 180-220kg on their neck. Whereas in a rear-facing seat, this is totally reduced to 40-60kg of stress upon the neck. The stress is so great because a child’s head makes up so much more of their body than an adult. For a fully grown adult, their head only makes up 6% of their body whereas a 5 month old baby’s head will make up 25% of their body. (BeSafe)
We often find people are still shocked to know that high back boosters must be used to 135cm in height or 12 years of age, but it has been found that using a belt positioning booster for children aged 4 to 10 years of age will have an injury reducing effect of 77% in a collision. This shows the importance of keeping your child in a high back booster until the minimum requirement. (Safety for the Growing Child – Experiences from Swedish Accident Data by Jakobsson L, Isaksson-Hellman I, Lundell B. 2005)
High back boosters provide side and head protection, and can position the shoulder belt at the right height, but booster cushions do not. Booster cushions and backless booster seats are no longer allowed to be manufactured as of March 2017 for children less than 125cm in height or 22kg in weight. Only parents who already have purchased these for children who are above the minimum height or weight can use these. (Department for Transport)
You may be unaware that thick jackets can cause problems in a collision. This is because most winter coats are made of filling material which is thick and this can stop you from tightening the harness as close to your child’s body as it needs to be. (BeSafe).