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The effectiveness of the child restraining systems when it comes to avoiding injury varies depending on the type of seat and it’s orientation with regard to the direction the car is travelling in and where it is positioned inside the car.

Being efficient

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In the case of babies carrycots and baskets are much less effective than child seats facing backwards, carrycots and baskets generally only prevent 25% of all injuries. There again in certain cases (children with breathing difficulty for example) the pediatrician may recommend a carrycot or basket instead of another type of seat.

Up to 4 years of age the child seats that are facing backwards are much safer than those facing forward: As the former prevent 70% of all injuries and up to 90% of the most serious or mortal injuries, those facing forward only prevent 55% of them. Children under 1 year of age must always travel facing backwards.

In children aged 5-9 years old, while adult seat belts only prevent 24 percent of all injuries, child seats prevent 57 percent. In other words, the effectiveness of child seats for this age group is more than double that of a seat belt. This is why it is so important that children aged 5-9 always use a child seat or a booster cushion rather than simply using the standard adult seat belt.

It is preferable for the booster seat or cushion to have a backrest as this offers greater side protection and reduces the risk of injuries to the head and neck.

Apart from being mandatory, it is worth reminding everyone that the back seats are much safer than the front ones: just by putting the child seat in the back seat of the car instead of the front one reduces the probability of injury by 15 percent.

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