How important is child car seats in traffic accidents?

While the seat belts used in automobiles are particularly beneficial for adult protection, this function is provided by child car seats for children. Especially in traffic accidents, just as a passenger who is not wearing a seat belt is exposed to serious injuries, the same will be the case for children who do not travel in a child car seat. In fact, we can definitely say that up to a certain age, seat belts for children will never be as safe as child car seats.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a child car seat, especially safety features. While our children are traveling, the suitability of the child car seat for the child’s age, the ease of use and cleaning, and the number of recline positions are the factors that should be considered.

Prerequisite: Careful Driver and Safe Car

No matter how safe child car seats are on their own, they are not enough to ensure the safety of your children during travel. First of all, careful driving is the first and most important criterion for your child’s safety. However, although you are a careful driver, there may be other drivers that cause a traffic accident. In this case, the second most important criterion is that your car is safe. The use of a child car seat in a car whose safety is not good enough will not work too well. For this reason, it is of great benefit to choose vehicles with a high “Child Passenger” test result in NCAP tests.

Solidness of Child Car Seat (Black and White Styrofoam)

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Child car seats are covered with styrofoam material for shock absorbing feature on a metal and plastic frame (Chassis). Two types of styrofoam are used here, white and black; White Styrofoam is a material that is slightly more dense and less durable (hence safety) than the Styrofoam used in the packaging of electronic goods, while black Styrofoam is a material produced for high security, which is also used in airplane seats. For this reason, we should prefer seats with black styrofoam. Of course, this does not create the perception that every white styrofoam is unsafe, some good brands can also use white styrofoam. However, in the research we have done, we have seen that some consumers complain about car seats made of white styrofoam. We have seen that the child car seat can easily break even though it has not received any strong blows.

Reclining Position

Especially for babies younger than 1 year old, the tilt angle of the baby car seat during travel is an important factor. Babies younger than 1 year old cannot fully acquire the habit of sitting without support yet. Sitting in an upright position can cause various damage to their spine. Therefore, the younger your baby is, the more reclining position should be. However, this does not mean that they should lie completely flat. In the event of an accident, this situation also has different risks. In addition, when the baby sleeps in an upright position, it will be safer for him to sleep in the lying position with his face turned to the back of the car, since his head cannot be prevented from falling forward due to his weak neck structure. Unfortunately, many baby car seats have really limited recline angles. This should be taken into account, especially for babies younger than 1 year old.

Seat Belt / Safety Pillow

There are two alternatives for attaching the baby to the seat. These; seat belt and safety pillow. If the seat has a seat belt, it must be at least a 3-point belt, but a 5-point belt will be much safer. This will ensure that the baby is securely fastened to the seat in the event of an accident. Belts connected at 3 points, unfortunately, are weaker in terms of security.

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Since the belts in child/infant car seats do not have active tension (ie the feature of being fixed in the event of an accident and not allowing the movement of the passenger) like the seat belts used by adult passengers, the tension of the belt must be adjusted manually by you. A belt that is too tight may cause the baby to become overwhelmed or hurt, while a loose belt may cause the baby not to be fastened enough in the event of an accident, causing injury. It is very important to keep this setting.

The second method, the safety pillow, has been proven in the tests to offer a higher level of safety than the seat belt. The use of safety pillows becomes more critical, especially in seats that offer a forward sitting position. Generally, and as far as we have observed, in cases where the seat is tied upside down, the seat belt is used instead of the safety pillow, and as soon as the seat is fixed straight, the safety cushion is activated. This pillow acts as a large airbag that absorbs and reduces the impact of the impact at the time of the accident. The fact that the seats with high scores in ADAC tests are generally models with safety cushions justifies the manufacturers.

Rear-Facing & Forward-Facing

Reverse mounting of the child car seat to the car (ie facing the back of the car) until the child is 105 cm tall is a very important and life-saving use that is often neglected. Children’s neck muscles are weak until they reach a certain growth, and even if they are not hit during an accident, their heads can fall forward with the impact of the impact, causing very serious injuries, paralysis and even death. Studies show that in frontal crashes, reverse lacing reduces the risk of death or permanent damage to children by up to 75%. For this reason, in some countries, reverse tying has become a legal obligation.

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It is likely that your children will experience discomfort or adaptation problems with reverse tripping. However, you need to be persistent and show more resistance than your child. Whether they cry or shout, your child’s safety is more important. Here, you should adopt this situation as a necessity rather than your child’s comfort. Over time, your child will also get used to traveling in this position. In the link below, there is a simulation video about both types of binding. We recommend that you watch.

Also you can read our article about “Tips For Choosing Baby and Child Car Seat”

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