All parents want to protect their child from the undue risks of everyday life. A child is commonly seen as the raw human potential or capacity to succeed and improve the life around us. When you combine this potential with a parent’s passion for protecting their child a multiplicity of projects, referendums, and products are made with the intent of sheltering a child from harm. Childrens car seats are a derivative of the movement I described above, like the speed limit reduction around a school, more commonly referred to as a school zone.
Childrens car seats were invents in response to the hazards of driving, which are well known and publicized. In 2008, 37,000 people died in traffic accident fatalities. That number is a great cause for concern, although it is the lowest it has been since the early 1960s. The reason for this is due to the large number of regulations placed on traffic in the United States. This was in response to the large number of tragic traffic accidents. Laws were made on speed limits, impaired driving, and mandatory breaks for professional drivers. Increased distances for freeway onramps and off-ramps as well as brighter signs indicating dangers were made available. All of this occurred on the road however.
Within the car itself, many drastic changes took place. Childrens car seats were one of the many different changes to the structure and safety features of the many cars on the road today. Improvements were made in the strength of the seat belt, as well as to the structure of the car itself. In the event of an impact, portions of the car are meant to crumble are absorb the impact, namely the trunk and the engine compartment. The decompression in these areas prevents the impact from being transmitted to the precious human cargo in the cabin of the vehicle. All cars presently utilize this method of shock absorption. The cage of the car was reinforced to prevent a structural failure of the cabin. The improvements in these areas were meant to improve the survivability of the cabin as a whole, since it houses the post valuable cargo in the car.
The seatbelt was subjected to a large amount of studying and most of the states in the United States of America have some form of seat belt law, with the exception of New Hampshire in which adults over age 18 are not required to wear a belt. Childrens car seats are a customized form of the adult seat belt. Children, generally, have a more fragile biology because of the increased rate of development that is occurring at the young age. For this reason, they are more prone to damaging their brain or other members of their body in the event of a car accident. Childrens car seats were created, and are constantly being innovated, by pediatricians as well as car crash experts to mitigate the primary causes of injury associated with children in car collisions. The development of the car seat usually involved a multi-point harness and an enveloping cushioned structure to hold the child in place. Depending on the age, the seat may be oriented in different directions, with varying degrees of restraint which will be discussed in the next paragraph.
Within the United States there is a 0-3 category system that outlines a general policy based on age and weight of the child, with corresponding seat styles and restraints that are meant to minimize the potential harm a child will encounter in the event of a traffic collision. Childrens car seats begin at the 0- category which is designated for children from ages 0-12 months and is usually rear facing to mitigate the potential harm from sudden deceleration of the car. 0+ is the next category and has a slightly broader age range that is 0-15 months. Category 1 is for children 9 months to 3 years old. Group 2 and 3 are for children that are older than 4 years but less than a specific weight. All categories have a corresponding weight class, and it is important that you check with childrens car seats prior to investment to be sure you have the proper fit.