But regular car belts for small passengers are great and therefore dangerous. That is why in most countries, special restraints are mandatory, which are commonly called child seats. After their introduction, for example, in Germany, child mortality in accidents decreased by 3.5 times.
Now Russia has joined the civilized world. Starting January 1, 2007, the updated Rules will become law and child seats will become mandatory. We will not postpone and take care of our own children right now.
FROM BABY TO JUNIOR
Depending on the age and weight of the child, the chairs are divided into four classes. The “0” and “0+” groups include cradles, where the infant reclines face down against the movement of the machine. According to ADAC studies, this situation is five times safer than along the way: overload in the "chest-back" direction is much easier to carry, the weight is distributed over the entire back area. In addition, a baby's head reaches 25% of body weight, while an adult has about 6% - imagine yourself in a 20-pound helmet, and even with a 30-fold overload!
The cradles can be installed both in the back seat and in the front, but only if the car is not equipped with a frontal airbag! Or it turns off - otherwise, having worked, the pillow can cripple the baby. The use of a potentially dangerous front seat is allowed for one reason only - here it is easier to look after the baby driver mom. Or dad.
Earlier, “1” group seats were sometimes installed against the course, but all modern models of the older groups are oriented with their faces in the direction of the car, otherwise the older children simply do not want to sit in them. Such seats are installed only in the rear seats and are usually fastened with regular three-point car belts. The disadvantage of this solution is that in an accident the chair is sufficiently strong, before the belt is pulled, it moves forward, making a complex rotational and lateral movement.
In contrast to the built-in three-point belts of group “0”, in groups “1” and “2” five-point belts are used; in all cases there is a quick-acting central lock, a pull-up system, several positions of the shoulder branches in height are provided. In group “3”, and sometimes “2” and even “1”, the child is fastened with a car seat with a three-point seat belt - this solution is simpler, provides better longitudinal fixation, but a smaller footprint and is suitable for children who are already strong.
The most reliable Isofix system is Isofix, which allows you to rigidly attach a child seat to the car body.
SAFETY AND COMFORT
These concepts are in a certain contradiction - compare the narrow rigid “boat” of a racing car and a soft sofa of a limousine. Do not underestimate the convenience - because if a child does not want to sit in an unimportant chair or if you are tired of a smart lock, the safest model will go with a useless load in the trunk …
One of the options for the seat of the “3” group, and sometimes “2” is the booster, that is, a foam pillow in the cover, which only allows you to seat the child higher in order to properly position the regular belt (on the shoulder, and not the neck). By the way, in the Rules there is no exact definition of a “special child restraint”, but it is vaguely mentioned about “other means”, so in an extreme case the grown child can be put on a thick pillow, a folded blanket in a case or something like that.
In addition to specialized armchairs, universal are common, uniting two or even three groups. Usually they can be adjusted, disconnect the back, and sometimes these are real transformers growing with the child. Such a chair is cheaper than several specialized ones, but you should not get involved in excessive versatility - the smallest and largest in it is not always convenient. The recent trend is to use a platform or a removable base, which is almost always in the car. A chair or cradle is installed on them with the help of quick locks without unnecessary fuss with belts.
Today, the choice of child seats and accessories is very large. Only in Europe, one and a half dozen companies are engaged in the issue, and most are represented in Russia. We do not have national safety standards for these products yet, but on all “Europeans” there is a certification badge according to UNECE R44 rules.
The price range for child seats is significant - from 1.5 thousand rubles. for a simple booster up to 30 thousand rubles. for a fancy model made of genuine leather. The most popular models are in the range of 4–6 thousand rubles. - it is quite possible to pick up a chair of any group. What we strongly advise to do - after all, from a youth you need to protect not only honor, but also life.
HOW TO CHOOSE?
1. When choosing a chair, listen to the opinion of the child - he should like it and be comfortable.
2. Check the convenience and ease of adjustments of the chair, as well as the accuracy of the lock and belt tightening system.
3. Install the chair in the car and pull it forward and to the sides strongly - when the inertial lock on the car belt is activated, the chair should not be moved forward by more than 10-15 cm or tilt to one side noticeably.
4. Additional front support is more needed when fixing the seat with a three-point automobile belt.
Child restraint groups:
"0" - 0-10 kg (from birth to about 9 months);
“0+” - 0–13 kg (from birth to 18 months);
“1” - 9–18 kg (from 8 months to 4 years);
“2” - 15–25 kg (from 3 to 7 years);
“3” - 22–36 kg (from 5 to 12 years).