Regardless of whether you are traveling in a motorhome or a passenger car, if there is a small child among your passengers, it must travel in a car seat, or on a special stand. Almost everyone knows this, but there are also some facts that are worth knowing, and which rarely get to the public.
The blog Osiemg Gwiazdek.blogspot.com , run by the owner of the Osiemg Gwiazdek.pl online store, is probably the best compendium of knowledge about car seats in the Polish part of the Internet. This is where you can find information on what to consider when choosing a seat, how to properly install the seat, and even watch the spine-chilling crash tests with mannequins pretending to be children.
Are the stars the most important?
When I started looking for an equivalent car seat for my then one-year-old child, at first I did not know what information to take into account. So naturally, probably like most parents, I focused on the number of stars given to individual seats by safety assessment organizations, such as the ADAC.
However, I quickly encountered doubts. Firstly, would a seat that achieved an excellent result in a test several years ago be as good as compared to the latest models? How to evaluate a seat that is not presented in any tests (the tested ones are not as many as we would like)?
Looking for answers to similar questions, I just came across the Eight Stars blog. And I quickly learned that stars aren't everything, and it's worth looking at other elements when making your choice. What?
Forward or rearward facing?
For example, it is worth paying attention to whether the seat is installed forward or rearward facing. RWF (rear mounted) car seats are almost unknown to us, while for most Scandinavian people they are first choice seats. And I do not mean child seats under the age of one year, because in this group the standard is - fortunately - rear facing, but seats for children from 9 months to 4 years old.
It was only after reading the blog entries that I started looking for information confirming the author's opinion that a rearward facing seat will actually always be safer than a front mounted seat. The method of installation may therefore be more important than the number of stars awarded.
Indeed, although I did not find many articles on this subject in the Polish-language part of the network, we can find a whole lot of them in English. But let's go back to the Polish source, because here we find an explanation laid out with coffee on the bench (in bold - Camprest):
“With a rearward-facing child seat, the forces of an impact are transferred from the child's back and head to the seat's backrest and headrest. The child is pushed into a chair that absorbs all the energy, and is affected by the forces we feel during rapid acceleration. When attaching the seat forward facing during an accident, the child's body is held by the seat belts, while the limbs, and above all the head, remain inert. Nothing protects a child's neck. Dear parents, the airbag that is standard in your car, as well as the windshield wipers and fog lamps, is not to prevent you from getting a bump on the steering wheel. This is so that your head does not tear your cervical vertebrae during an accident. The child has no airbag. "
Forward Facing Crash Test:
Rearward Facing Crash Test:
You can find the entire post here - it's worth reading .
In my case, this text changed a lot in my view of the car seats and made the RWF seat more expensive than expected in my budget, but I stood on my head to buy one. Today, the child has been riding it for the second year and hopefully there will be no opportunity to check the effectiveness of this protection. However, I feel so calm that I know that I am doing my best to ensure his safety while traveling. Although, sometimes I have doubts ...
Ride with or without a jacket?
Recently my pupils dilated again in surprise. I learned something again that I hadn't noticed before. Well, it turns out that even when transporting a child backwards, if I fasten it tightly, but it is wearing a thick, winter jacket, such protection ... is not any protection!
In a collision, a child in a jacket slips freely from the seat belts and is launched into the air like a projectile. So remember, regardless of the weather, to take off your child's jacket in the car (preferably yourself too).
Yes, it's inconvenient, there's a lot of ado about it, but the key question is: is your comfort more important, or your safety, and maybe your child's life?
It's worth knowing the law
And one more common dilemma. Should a child be transported in the front or rear seat? On the Eight Stars blog you will find described exceptions to this rule, but in general, it is almost always safer to travel in the rear. And in Croatia , for example, transporting a child under the age of 12 in the front seat is prohibited by law.
And since we are with the provisions. Do you know that there is no longer any age limit in Poland? In the past, the seat was valid until the age of 12, unless the child was previously 150 cm tall. Currently, only growth matters. In the front, without a seat, a minor may ride if he or she is at least 150 cm tall, and at the back, if he is at least 135 cm tall. Under current legislation, children under the age of 3 should not travel in vehicles without seat belts at all.
But for more information on car seats, please visit the blog .
Sometimes it is better to get lost than to ask for directions too much. Aldous Huxley