In-car safety

The Irish Times has stated that fatal crashes involving children in cars have dropped by 46 per cent, according to a study to be released next week by the Irish Road Safety Authority. The survey was conducted by the Children’s University Hospital in Dublin, the Irish Road Safety Authority and the Royal College Of Surgeons,  found that between 2000 and 2008 the figures surrounding child-related deaths in car crashes fell dramatically.

Despite the improvement, there are still calls to further improve child car safety, and this week the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)recommended that children should be kept in rear-facing car seats until the age of two, rather than one, as is common now.

“Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage to the next, but these transitions should generally be delayed until they’re necessary, when the child fully outgrows the limits for his or her current stage,” said Dr Dennis Durbin of the AAP. “A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body.” Previously, the AAP had recommended that rear-facing seats be used until the age of one, or until a child reached 9kg in weight.

But such regulations are being dismissed by Irish experts as unnecessary. Brian Farrell, the communications director with the Road Safety Authority (RSA), is advising parents not to rush out and start buying rear-facing seats.

“The first thing to note is that the way child seats are built and used in the US is completely different from how we do it in the EU or Ireland,” says Farrell. “In fact, you couldn’t use a US-made child seat here, as it wouldn’t have been crash tested to tougher European standards. The basic point of delaying a child’s transition from rear-facing to front facing is something we would agree with, but what we would say is don’t compromise their safety by putting them in a seat that’s not right for them. It’s all down to height and weight.

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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