Monday, November 24, 2008

Car Seats : How Child Car Seats Work

Speck, Shane. "How Child Car Seats Work." 04 July 2003. <> 23 November 2008.

Most of us wouldn't even think of travelling in a car without fastening our seatbelt, and for good reason. In a crash, at just 30 miles per hour (48.3 kilometers per hour), an unrestrained passenger is thrown forward with a force thirty to sixty times their body weight. What if that unrestrained passenger were a small child? The child would almost certainly be hurled about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and other passengers. Worse still, they're likely to be thrown from the vehicle through one of the windows.

It's not even safe to hold a child on your lap while driving. In a crash, the child could be crushed between your body and part of the interior of the car. Even if you were held in by a seatbelt the child would be pulled from your arms by the force of the collision. You simply wouldn't be able to hold on to the child, no matter how hard you tried.

The bottom line is that the safest way for children to travel by car is in a child seat that is suitable for their weight and size, and is fitted correctly. In this article, we'll examine the technology at work and find out how to choose the best child seat.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Car Seats: Fast Facts

Speck, Shane. "Car Seats: Fast Facts." 21 October 2006. 03 November 2008.

  1. In a crash at just 30 miles per hour (48.3 kilometers per hour), an unrestrained passenger is thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight.
    Learn more about crash dynamics.

  2. Seatbelts are designed to hold you into the car and spread the destructive force of the impact over the more resilient parts of your body, increasing your chances of avoiding death or serious injury in a crash by up to 50 percent.
    Learn more about seatbelts.

  3. There are three basic types of child car seats, each designed for different ages (and sizes) of children:
    • Rear-facing infant seats and convertible seats
    • Forward-facing car seats
    • Booster seats and backless boosters
    Learn more about types of car seats.

  4. Rear-facing infant seats are generally suitable for babies up to 22 pounds (about 10 kilograms), roughly from birth to 12 months.
    Learn more about rear-facing car seats.

  5. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all children ages 12 and under should ride in the back seat.
    Learn more about car seat safety.

  6. Rear-facing car seats provide greater protection for the baby's head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats.
    Learn more about rear-facing car seats.

  7. Types of car seat harness styles:
    • The three-point harness has straps that cross over the shoulders and fasten to a buckle near the bottom of the seat.
    • The five-point harness has five straps: two at the shoulders, two at the hips and one at the crotch.
    • The overhead shield features a padded shield that swings down around the child, similar to the restraints often found on fairground rides.
    • A t-shield comprises a padded t-shaped or triangular shield attached to shoulder straps. Rather than swinging over the child, this shield is attached to the front of the unit.
    Learn more about car seat harness styles.

  8. For children older than 1 year and heavier than around 20 lbs (9.1 kg), a forward-facing seat becomes suitable.
    Learn more about forward-facing car seats.

  9. According to the NHTSA, placing a child in the back seat instead of the front seat reduces the risk of death by 27 percent, whether the car has a passenger-side airbag or not.
    Learn more about car seat safety.

  10. When a child is too big for a harnessed car seat, it's time to use a booster seat. A child is to be considered "too big" if he exceeds the manufacturer's weight limit or the top of his head is higher than the top of the seat. Usually a child will need a booster seat between the ages of four or six.
    Learn more about booster seats.