Child Safety Information and Resources 2019 0-07-33


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Child Safety Seat Age

Convertibles aren't considered the best choice for a newborn because the bottom harness slots are often above the shoulders of most newborns. A seat with low bottom harness slots can be used if it is desired to use a convertible from birth.

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In 2013, a new car seat regulation was introduced: “i-Size” is the name of a new European safety regulation that affects car seats for children under 15 months of age. It came into effect in July 2013 and provides extra protection in several ways, most notably by providing rearward facing travel for children up to 15 months instead of 9 to 12 months, which the previous EU regulation advised.

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Parents should not put children into safety seats with thick winter coats on. The coat will flatten in an accident and the straps will not be snug enough to keep the child safe.[26] An alternative would be placing a coat on the child backwards after buckling the child in.

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Along with the problem of instructions not being followed properly, there are other hazards that can affect children involving these safety seats. A recent study[clarification needed] attributed many cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) to the prolonged sitting or lying position these infants are in when putting the safety seats to use. When researchers reviewed more than 500 infant deaths, it was found that 17 of these deaths occurred while the infant was in a device such as a child safety seat. The age of the most occurring rates of death by SIDS in a child safety device was found to be under one month, having six of the 17 deaths happen in this age group. Although SIDS has been found to be a high risk regarding child safety seats, a coroner in Quebec also stated that “putting infants in car seats…causes breathing problems and should be discouraged."[51] His warning came after the death of a two-month-old boy who was left to nap in a child safety seat positioned inside his crib rather than the crib itself. The death was linked to positional asphyxiation.[51] This means that the child was in a position causing him to slowly lose his supply of oxygen. Coroner Jacques Robinson said it's common for a baby's head to slump forward while in a car seat that is not properly installed in a car and that can diminish a baby's ability to take in oxygen. "The car seat is for the car," he said. "It's not for a bed or sleeping." Robinson added, however, he has nothing against car seats when they are properly used. The coroner said that it is common for a baby’s head to “slump forward while in a car seat and that it diminishes oxygen”.[51]

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Directive 2003/20/EC of the European Parliament and the Council[30] has mandated the use of child-restraint systems in vehicles effective May 5, 2006. Children less than 135 centimetres (53 in) tall in vehicles must be restrained by an approved child restraint system suitable for the child's size.[31] In practice, child restraint systems must be able to be fitted to the front, or other rows of seats. Children may not be transported using a rearward-facing child restraint system in a passenger seat protected by a front air bag, unless the air bag has been deactivated.[citation needed]


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