The weight of a baby at impact is their usual weight multiplied by the speed you are travelling. So even with a tiny baby that weighs 3kgs, if you’re driving at 100kmph, that baby weighs 300kg in an accident, and there’s no way you can keep holding on, whether you’re in the front or back. This is absolutely staggering.
What should I look for when choosing a rearward-facing child seat?
The child seat should suit the size of your child and fit your car.
In the baby seat – how tight should the child harness be?
The harness should always be tight to the baby’s body. A rule of thumb is two fingers, but not more, between the harness and the child for appropriate tightness.
How long should we go on using the baby seat?
The most important thing is that the seat used should be suitable for the size of the baby at the time, in order to give it the support it needs. Once the baby has grown so that its head reaches the top of its baby seat or beyond, the time has come to move it to a rearward-facing seat for a larger child.
What should I do if my child doesn’t want to sit in its seat?
For a baby, it might be a good idea to take a brand new baby seat indoors and let the baby first get used to it at home.
How long should children go on using rearward-facing seats?
Young children should continue to use rearward-facing seats for as long as possible. It is recommended that children go on using rearward-facing seats until they are three years old, but preferably longer. The older a child is, the stronger its neck will have grown. In addition, the taller a child is, the smaller its head will be in relation to the rest of its body. Not being able to stretch out its legs fully will not affect the child’s safety.
Why is this so important?
Because a child’s vulnerable neck cannot withstand the strain involved if the head is flung forward in a frontal impact. In a forward-facing child seat, the neck is subjected to very substantial forces. In a rearward-facing child seat, these forces are distributed across the whole of the child’s back and head. The forces arising in rear-end impact are generally not as high.
What should I do if my child falls asleep with its head hanging at a sharp angle?
If it appears not to bother the child, it probably looks worse than it is. If it bothers you, you can always stop and prop up the child’s head with a pillow or cushion.
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