An appropriate child restraint system protects a child in 5 ways:
- Preventing ejection from the vehicle.
People who are thrown from the vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside
- Contacting the strongest parts of the child’s body.
The strongest parts of the body are the hips and shoulders
- Spreading the crash forces across the child’s body.
A snug harness in a car seat or lap and shoulder belt spreads the force across a large area putting less stress on any one part of the body.
- Providing “ride down” - Helping the body to slow down in a crash.
Ride down refers to extending the time during a crash that the occupant experiences the slowing down forces. A rear-facing car seat spreads the force across the entire back, neck and head.
- Protecting the child’s head, neck and spine.
A shoulder belt helps to keep the head and upper body away from the hard surfaces inside the vehicle
The back seat is proven to be safer than the front. In fact, according to a study conducted by Partners for Child Passenger Safety at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, kids in the back seat are 38 percent less likely to be injured in a crash.
All children under age 13 should ride in a back seat. Putting children in a back seat eliminates the injury risk from a deployed front passenger-side airbag and secures children in the safest part of the vehicle in the event of a crash.For a summary of PA’s Child Passenger Protection Laws and the Safety Belt Law, please click here