Make Summer Driving Safer by Keeping Your Children Rear Facing
The holiday period is a busy time for the roads as around 18.5 million drivers will hit the roads during the summer just here in the UK. The increase in traffic means that there is an increased risk of a collision which is of course something we all want to avoid.
Collisions are often even more dangerous for any children travelling in the cars as their bodies offer them a lot less protection than that of an adult. Children are not miniature adults — their proportions are completely different. A 9-month-old baby carries a quarter of its body weight in its head compared to 6% on an adult. This is a disadvantage in the case of a car crash. Also, babies and young children’s ligaments and muscles in their necks are not fully developed yet.
“Children have fragile, flexible and poorly developed neck muscles. When a child is forward facing and a frontal collision occurs the child’s head is flung forward in the seat. This will cause an enormous amount of stress in the neck. A child’s neck and spine are vulnerable because their spines are still soft and not solidified like an adult.”
This is why babies and children need car seats and some are simply safer than others. Here in the UK, babies under 15 months old must be rear facing and this is the law. The reason for this is that it’s much safer and protects them much better in the event of a car collision or a crash.
I’m from Sweden and in Scandinavian countries children are kept rear facing for much longer as recommended by the British Medical Journal in 2009 as the safest way for children under the age of 4 to travel in a car.
Sweden is at the forefront in road safety and has the rigorous Plus Test which, when applied to car seats, ensures that a child is not exposed to life threatening high head and neck trauma forces in the event of a frontal collision.
“The proof is there and can’t be denied – the countries that have adopted the concept of keeping children rear facing for longer have the lowest rates of infant mortality on the roads globally.”
Swedish company Axkid manufactures rear facing seats that offer greater protection in the event of a collision, importantly the head rest of a rear facing seat greatly reduces the movements in the head and neck of a child in the event of a frontal collision.
Axkid makes a wide range of car seats suitable from birth up to 36kgs with many of them having the option to stay rear facing until the child weighs 25kg (approximately 6 years old or 125cm). Some of the seats are Isofix and others can be fitted with the existing standard 3-point seatbelt while the support leg, which can be extended by pushing just one button, allows easy installation in almost any vehicle. The support leg offers five positions to obtain the optimum slope and recline requirement for each individual child depending on height and age.
We have the Axkid Minikid ready to be installed for our 4-year-old this weekend and I can’t wait to see what it’s like and providing her with the safest option for travelling by car. I hadn’t been able to find a rear facing car seat for her when she was younger — they’re just not as widely available here in the UK but it’s great to have been introduced to Axkid that have lots of UK retailers for their car seats.
I will be back with a full review of the Axkid Mini later this summer!
Thank you to Axkid for providing me with the information in this blog post.