Wednesday, September 19, 2007

8 out of 10 kids is not well enough secured in the car



What is the best way to secure you're kids in the car?

The picture to the left shows a two year old boy in a Akta Graco DuoLogic car seat, RF up till 18 kg.

Way to many parents lacks information about how to secure their kids optimally in the car, this can be seen from the lates count done by Trygg Trafikk. The count was done in Sandvika and showed us that 8 out of 10 kids should have been in a rear-facing instead car seat instead of a forward facing car seat. Read more about the count HERE. Perhaps parents aren't good enough to search for information on this subject or perhaps they put to much trust in the person selling car safety seats, who might not know enough about what's recommended? Most parents want to secure their kids in the safest and best possible way, but sometimes as a parent you need help finding out what that is.

From May 2006 a new law about car safety for children was introduced in Norway. The rules apply to children up till 150 cm and under 36 kg.

Approved security equipment is divided into weight classes:

  • Group 0: 0 - 10 kg
  • Grup 0+: 0 - 13 kg
  • Group 1: 9 - 18 kg
  • Group 2: 15 - 25 kg
  • Group 3: 25 - 36 kg
Trygg Trafikk strongly recommend that kids stays rear-facing up till four years of age, if they can stay rear-facing even longer that is great!

Kids should stay rear-facing for as long as possible(preferably up till four years of age), when they have out grown their seat in weight or height they should switch to a booster seat. Kids can legally sit in a forward-facing seat from 9 kg, but that is NOT recommended. There are rear-facing safety car seats in the marked for kids up till 25 kg, if your child can sit rear-facing up till 25 kg before turning forward that is the absolute safest way for a child to ride in a car. It seems like only a few number of parents know these facts, because the majority of kids under four years in Norway sits forward-facing. On Trygg Trafikk's website it is written about the damage reducing effect of different safety systems. A rear-facing car safety seat has a 90-95% damage reducing effect, a forward-facing car safety seat has a damage reducing effect of 50-60%.

Earlier this year there has been published a test of different car safety seats here in Norway, Trygg Trafikk is telling consumers not to look at the diceyes the seats were given in the newspaper VG, instead they recommend consumers to read the entire test. The article can be found HERE.

In Sweden they have worked for many years to get the children to sit rear-facing up till four years of age, now almost every Swedish child sits rear-facing up till four years of age. There should be no reason why Norwegian children can't sit rear-facing up till the same age as the Swedish children does. Many parents turn they're kids forward because it looks uncomfortable the way they are sitting or because the kids are suffering from motion sickness, the truth is that it is not uncomfortable or dangerous for the kids to sit with they're legs bent or crossed, they don't get motionsickness more often because they are rear-facing either. If there is problems with space in the car, it shouldn't be a problem for one of the parents to sit in the backseat. Medical Director at the Pediatric ICU in Ullevaal hospital Tor Einar Calisch and professor in damage surgery Inggard Lereim is stressing the importance of rear-facing.

The picture to the left shows a two year old boy rear-facing in a Britax Two Way Elite seat, rear-facing up till 25 kg.

Here are a list of seats that are rear-facing up till 25 kg:
  • Britax Secura
  • Britax Hi-Way
  • Britax Freeway
  • Britax Two Way Elite
  • Brio Zento
  • MaxiCosi Mobi
  • Akta Graco Cosmic - The seat should be installed over the edge of the seat after the kid has reached 11 kg. Before buying it might be a good idea to check if it is enough room in the car for the after 11 kg installation, because it takes up some space in the car. The seat is approved for rear-facing in the backseat up till 18 kg, rear-facing in the front seat up till 25 kg.
Tip: When going out to buy a new car safety seat one should bring the car and try several different seats. Not all seats fits good in all cars.

A rear-facing gallery can be seen HERE, the oldest child in the gallery is six years old and 120 cm. That shows that in some cases it is possible to stay rear-facing for a long time.

Least but not last: When installing a car safety seat it is VERY important to read the manuals carefully! Car seats that are wrongly installed is unfortunately a common reason why children is unnecessary hurt in accidents. That goes for all types of car safety seats.

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