Children In The Car

June 1, 2022:  NHTSA Releases Child Seat’ Ease of Use’ Ratings for 2005

    Accordingg to an annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey released today, child safety seats are easier to use. NHTSA rated 92 child safety seats from 14 different manufacturers for 2005.

     Clearer labels and instructions accounted for most of the improvements. Improved ratings were also scored for ease of installation and whether the seats had to be assembled after purchase or pre-assembled and ready for use.

     “NHTSA’s ‘ease-of-use’ rating program provides parents and caregivers with valuable information they can use for comparison shopping when buying child safety and booster seats,” said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge, MD. “The program also gives manufacturers a powerful incentive to produce safe and effective seats that are simple to use.

The full article, plus ratings, is here.

December 15, 2022: A Virtual Car Seat Demonstration In Your Own Home

PHILADELPHIA — The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia announces a new child passenger safety Web site as a holiday gift to parents. Just in time for the hectic and often dangerous holiday travel, features short videos and comprehensive information to help parents protect children of all ages when riding in vehicles – from installing child safety seats to reinforcing safe safety driving habits for teens.

     The new online resource draws on experience from Partners for Child Passenger Safety, a research partnership of Children’s Hospital and State Farm® that is the nation’s most extensive study of children in crashes. Since 1997, more than 300,000 State Farm customers have shared their crash experiences with Children’s Hospital researchers,s who can determine the best ways to protect the nation’s children and save their lives.

More details are here.

August 2, 2022:  NHTSA Reminds Parents Not to Leave Children Unattended in Vehicles

    Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National SAFE KIDS Campaign reminded parents and caregivers that leaving children unattended in a motor vehicle can quickly lead to fatal consequences, especially in warm weather. The NHTSA also issued summer safety tips for parents and caregivers.

     Young children trapped in a hot, closed vehicle are at particularly significant risk on a sunny or humid day. Even when the temperature is as mild as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a fast car can heat to dangerous levels for children within a short period.

     “It’s not only parents and caregivers who should be extremely vigilant. Anyone who observes a small child alone in a closed vehicle should contact emergency services immediately,” says Martin Eichelberger, M.D., president of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

Full details, with tips, are here.

June 1, 2022:  If You Want Maximum Safety for the Children in Your Car, Look No Further Than

Sweden and Australia

  This Antipodean-Scandinavian duo are almost certainly the two world leaders for child safety in cars — the Aussies because it’s a subject they are rightly fanatical about, and the Swedes through Volvo.

During our search for international news items, at DSA, we found an ad, on an independent Australian website, for Volvo’s “Safety Manual — Children in Cars”.

Most kids love to sit in the front when Mum or Dad is driving if the passenger seat is empty. But did you know that a child less than 140cm tall (4ft 7in) is too short to sit in a front seat with an airbag? Or thatall children should continue to use rear-facing child seats until they are at least three years old?

The Volvo Cars website for Australia has a page on the topic (which isn’t on Volvo web sites for some other countries) and it has a brief yet excellent summary of the main safety factors. If you ever convey children, read it here and see Child Seats, Airbags, etc., below.

[Source: DSA originated]

May 15, 2022:  Child Passenger Safety Day  (at over 200 sites across the USA)

     The focus of this event is to ensure that children are properly secured in child safety seats or booster seats that are appropriate for their age and size. Many of the sites will also host a safety fair with educational activities including bike rodeos, in-line skating safety, and fire prevention safety.

     One of the early findings of Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) was that 83% of children between the ages of 3 to 8 years were being prematurely graduated to an adult seat belt, rather than using a child safety seat or booster seat.

Also, see the DSA section on Child Seats and Airbags (below)

May 12, 2022:  Child Heatstroke Deaths in Automobiles — A Greater Danger Than Many May Realize  

     Between 2002 and 2003, the number of heatstroke deaths among children left unattended in parked vehicles increased by 70 percent. As summer approaches and temperatures rise, a new campaign is underway to help prevent such tragedies.

     The National Safe Kids Campaign and General Motors are contacting parents and drivers who transport children, telling them to be wary of leaving children alone in parked vehicles. For the first time, education and outreach efforts are also being aimed at the general public. The campaign urges bystanders to seek help if they see small children left unattended in a parked vehicle.

     Parked cars are hazardous for children because a child’s body temperature increases three to five times faster than that of adults, and their bodies are less able to withstand the heat. So, on a sunny day, even at temperatures as mild as 60 degrees, a closed vehicle can become difficult for a child in just minutes.

[Source: Newstream, for G.M.]

Child Seats, Airbags, Etc.

Kids in seats with airbags can be in immense danger in a collision. ‘Kids and Airbags’ is the title of a highly informative article by the IIHS that should be compulsory reading for all adults who transport youngsters in their vehicles.

Children are safest if kept in rear-facing car seats until three! Renowned for being at the forefront of car safety, Volvo firmly believes that most of us could improve the safety of the children who travel in our cars.

Some of the facts and advice will surprise American and British parents. Yet, research demonstrates that children are safest if kept in rear-facing car seats until the age of three, when their neck has become strong enough to withstand the strain of the whiplash effect of a front-end collision.

Most Swedish children continue to travel facing backward much longer than other European youngsters, and the difference in injury and death rates is striking. For example, the risk of a child dying in a car accident in France is twice as high as in Sweden, and German statistics reveal a similar pattern.

Other key information/recommendations in Children in Cars include:

  •  Never put a baby or toddler in a rearward-facing seat, or anyone under the height of 4ft 7ins, in the front passenger seat of a car fitted with a passenger-side airbag unless an authorized dealership has disabled the airbag.
  • The importance of restraining a child in a car – not just for its safety. In a front-end collision, a child weighing 30kg (66 pounds) traveling in a car at 40km/h (25mph) will weigh up to the equivalent of a tonne by the time they hit you in the front – or go through the windscreen.
  •  Booster seats with backrests provide better protection for children aged three or four or above than ones without backrests.
    Children In Cars is free to download from (Jan. 2004). Safety standards for child seats that parents need to be aware of are LATCH and ISOFIX. These names may be considered interchangeable, but “LATCH” and “s more” are commonly used in the USA and ISOFIX in Europe and elsewhere.