Experts are urging parents to make the move from infant capsules to rear facing convertible car seats sooner rather than later with new findings showing the car seats offer more protection to one-year-old children.
Previously, parents have operated under the recommendation that infant carriers (or capsules) are suitable as a child car seat up to the time the child turns one.
However, new studies have shown that parents should be transferring older babies into convertible car seats much sooner.
Consumer Reports has conducted testing into rear facing child child restraints to determine which of the two options are safest.
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Using a dummy with the equivalent weight of a one year old child, they found that a child was far more likely to hit their head on the back of the seat (on a front on crash) when placed in a rear facing capsule than they were when placed in a rear facing convertible car seat. (Over half of the dummies restrained in rear facing capsules had an impact to the head, where as only one dummy using a rear facing convertible seat suffered head trauma).
Head contact for children remains a major factor contributing to serious injury or death in car accidents for children.
Jennifer Stockburger, from Consumer Choice, says that as a result of the finding, “we are now urging parents to move older babies from their rear facing infant carriers to a rear facing convertible seat before their first birthday even if they haven’t outgrown the carrier.”