Parents are putting children in ‘danger’ as campaigners demand rule change

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Parents are putting their children in danger “without even knowing” as campaigners demand urgent law changes.

Activists are concerned about young children sitting in front-facing car seats which could put them at risk.

An online petition has called for the Government to make it a legal requirement for children under the age of four to use rear-facing seats.

The new rule would also apply to children under 18kg or under 105cm if they were over four.

In an online statement, campaigners said: “To ensure all infants involved in RTCs have the best chance of survival. Current law allows parents with lack of knowledge to put their infants in potential danger without even knowing.

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“Although guidance is there, many infants are being put into forward-facing seats as this isn’t against the law.

“A rear-facing seat will absorb most of the collision forces and supports the head; neck and spine. The seat keeps the spine aligned and limits damaging movement.

“When children ride forward-facing, their heads – which for toddlers are disproportionately large and heavy are thrown forward.

“This can result in spine and head injuries such as fracture of the cervical vertebrae and internal decapitation.”

The petition was started by Katy Balaam and has so far received just over 2,250 signatures.

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10,000 sign-ups are needed for the Government to issue a response over the matter with 100,000 required for the topic to be debated in Parliament.

The NHS urges motorists to use a rear-facing car seat for as long as the child still fits into it. They admit these seats offer better protection in the event of an accident.

The NHS added: “Forward-facing seats in the same position, while not illegal, are not ideal. It’s always safer for children to travel in the back of the car.”

Specialists at Be Safe also claim rear-facing models are up to five times safer.

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The company has also admitted youngsters should travel backwards until at least four years old.

The experts reveal a rear-facing seat will “act as a protective shell and absorb the impact energy”.

Meanwhile, front seats will exert heavy forces onto a child’s body which could lead to serious injury.

They explained: “When sitting forward facing, the child’s body is pushed out of the seat. But as the child car seat’s internal harness holds the child’s upper body in place, the majority of the forces are placed on the child’s neck as the head is thrown forward with tremendous force.”

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