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Petition Tag - child restraints
Research around the world has proven that sitting in a rear-facing position in the car is five times safer for children under the age of 4 than sitting in a forward-facing position. Young children have heavy heads that are large in proportion to their bodies. The bones in their neck are still soft and under-developed.
If a young child is sitting forward-facing during a frontal collision, their head is thrown violently forward on impact, putting all the force of the crash onto their delicate necks. This puts them at risk of sustaining spinal injuries.
Sitting rear-facing in the car protects young children from spinal injuries in a frontal collision. The back of the car-seat cradles their head, neck and back. The back of the seat takes up the force of the collision, NOT the child’s neck. Their head is cushioned by the back of the seat and not thrown forward.
Australia has the highest standards of crash-testing child-restraints in the world, HOWEVER we have the earliest age of forward-facing our babies in the developed world at just 6 months of age. In the U.S. experts recommend babies remain rear-facing until age 2. In Sweden, children are kept rear-facing until age 4. Seats that can accommodate larger children rear-facing are readily available overseas.
The Australian Road Rules and the Australian Child Restraint Standards both allow for children to remain rear-facing until the age of 4. However, Australian child restraint manufacturers are not making these seats available in Australia because they feel there is no market for them in Australia.
Australian children deserve the same level of protection as their overseas cousins. Our children deserve the best possible protection in a crash. Let’s build upon our high safety standards to keep our kids even safer than ever before.
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