Although it isn’t law in New Zealand, it is strongly recommended to have your child rear facing in their car seat until 2 years of age or older – the consensus among car seat technicians is “the longer the better!” A safe car is a must when you have children travelling with you. If a safe, newer car is out of your reach with cash, talk to us at Car Finance and we can help get your family in safe motor vehicle.
A small child’s head weighs 25% of their total body weight, in comparison to 6.5% in an adult. They have a disproportionately large head to body ratio at a young age. While many Western countries now recommend rear-facing until at least 12 months to 2 years of age, Sweden has a long history of keeping their children in rear-facing child restraints until at least three years of age, sometimes until 5 years of age.
Children have poorly developed fragile and flexible neck muscles and when a forward-facing child’s heavy head is thrust forward in a crash, the child suffers an enormous amount of stress on neck. The spinal cord only needs to move a mere 6mm to cause serious paralysis or death. A young child’s vertebrae are not strong enough to protect the spinal cord adequately in a front crash when forward facing in a car seat.
To put it into an example, an average two year olds head weighs on average 2.1kg, which means that in an accident at only 50km/h the head weighs 210 kilos!
In the event of a car crash, where your child is rear facing, the whole of the child’s back takes the impact instead of only where the harness touches the body, consequently protecting the much more vulnerable neck, head and spine. The risk of serious injury is reduced by five times while travelling rear facing.
Safety is paramount when travelling with kids. Using vehicle finance to get you into something safe for your family is an investment you will not regret. Team it with rear facing seats for your youngest family members and you can rest easy knowing they are safe while travelling on the roads.