Road Safety News

Child car-seat warning to parents

Friday 12th June 2009

Most UK parents are too quick to switch their children to front-facing car seats, a team of doctors has argued.

They say mounting evidence suggests it is safer for children to use a rear-facing seat until the age of four and parents should be advised accordingly.

In the UK it is common practice to switch babies to a front-facing seat when they weigh 9kg (20lb) - around the age of eight months for an average boy.

The study, in the British Medical Journal, shows that it is safer for children to travel rearward-facing for as long as possible, although that does not mean forward-facing seats are dangerous.

Dr Elizabeth Watson and Dr Michael Monteiro cite evidence from Sweden, where using a rear-facing seat up to the age of four is common practice. There, studies have shown that children who died in accidents restrained in a forward-facing booster seat could potentially have survived if they had been travelling in rear-facing seats.

Click here to read the full BBC News report.


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