Experts: Kids under 4 should travel in rear-facing child seats

It’s a matter of life and death
by Drei Laurel | Feb 9, 2021
PHOTO: Volvo
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All right, ignore the lackluster implementation of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act and look at the bigger picture for a moment: Kids really should be sitting in child seats when riding in cars. It’s just, simply put, safer.

You can’t just go out and buy any car seat for your child, though. There are factors to consider, including the age, height, and weight of your child. Kids under four, for example, should be placed in rear-facing child seats. Don’t take our word for it—Volvo, one of the world’s most safety-conscious car manufacturers, has the expertise to back this up.

Why rear-facing child seats?

According to Dr. Lotta Jakobsson, Volvo’s senior technical specialist in injury protection, it is paramount that those under four years of age be placed in rear-facing child seats. This is because the neck of a four-year-old still isn’t capable of supporting the head, making road crashes even deadlier for them.

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“Children up to four need to travel rearward-facing in cars, simply because their neck is too weak to support the head. You, therefore, need to protect them,” Jakobsson said in a statement.

“We need to communicate this message to everybody so they understand the importance of having the children rearward-facing because if they end up in a high-severity frontal impact, it's a question of life or death.”

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So, that’s one more thing to consider amidst all this talk about the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act—a minor road mishap to an adult could potentially be much more dangerous for a child sitting in the rear. We aren’t just referring to children under four here, either. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for people aged between five and 29 years old. Yikes.

So, do you own a rear-facing child seat? Or do you only plan on buying one once all the intricacies of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act are sorted out? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Volvo
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