The First and foremost, child car seats are intended to keep children safe. The physical aspects of an accident are relentless, and the forces that can be generated are frequently underestimated. But child seats are not only vital for keeping children safe in the car; they also play an important role in the healthy development of a child, as they "accompany" the child throughout a longer period of time. Given that the child's body grows constantly during this phase of his/her life, it is particularly important for a child car seat to have an ergonomic design. A "growing seat" adjusts ideally to the size of the child's body, as it grows flexible in three dimensions. This is warranted by adjusting the head and shoulder supports in both height and width, together with a raised leg support that can be pulled out to the front. The possible adjustments and scope for adapting the seat according to the child's age result in an ideal sitting position without being too restrictive. This reduces any physical strain and ensures the child "feels good". An ideal fit also means increased safety!
But during long journeys, it is also important for the seat to offer a constant pleasant sitting climate and ideal distribution of the sitting pressure. Continuous air circulation between the child's body, the child seat and the seat of the vehicle provides the ideal climate.
It must be possible for smaller children in particular to sleep in a relaxed position, taking account of the important ergonomic and safety aspects.
Our children, the adults of tomorrow, have a right to our preventive care, particularly when it comes to safety and ergonomic design.
Even the best child car seats cannot provide ergonomically perfect complete freedom of movement for the child. This is the fundamental drawback of travelling by car. Always give your child and yourself a break and a chance for some exercise during long journeys in the car.
But choosing the right child car seat also has to take account of health aspects for the parents. A lightweight seat that is also easy to handle will protect the backs and health of the whole family.
Child car seats are allocated to specific age groups (AG):
The age group 0 or 0+ includes baby carriers that are fitted to face the direction of travel. Tests have shown that it is safer for small children to travel looking backwards. This is because the head of a small child accounts for 25% of his/her body weight and is therefore relatively heavy. The muscles in the neck of a very young child are not so well developed, so that in a car seat looking forwards, any impact would fling the child's head forward with great force, while the shoulders are restrained by the straps. Child seats looking backwards distribute the impact energy evenly across all the child's back. The baby carrier acts as a safety shield, protecting head and neck.
Unfortunately, many child car seats still fail to offer an appropriate ergonomic design and greatest possible safety. Positive examples are so versatile they can be called all-rounders. The baby carrier is easily adjusted to an ergonomic lying position, no matter whether it is being used in the car, in a café or when out shopping. In the baby carrier, your child is always safe and sound.
Ideally, the baby carrier can be fitted on a corresponding undercarriage to convert it quickly into a pram. Baby carriers come with different sized seat inserts to offer optimum safety and can thus be used until the child is about 15 months old. Special preemie inserts are available for tiny babies.
In age group II/III, the child should be strapped in with the vehicle's own lap and diagonal strap seat belt (in AG I with an impact shield). The belt clamps on the impact shield in AG I ensure that the strap runs correctly, thus safely restraining the child. Larger children are held directly by the vehicle seat belt. In the event of an accident, special energy absorbing elements must be activated. Another indispensable feature that applies particularly in side impact situations consists in a good lateral support together with energy deflecting head and shoulder supports. Parents should ensure that the child seat can be fitted and removed quickly and easily, without causing them any back trouble. Here a carrying handle is particularly useful with a long lever effect to avoid exerting undue force. When adjusting the child seat from the lying to the sitting position, an automatically adjusted strap system rules out any unnecessary fiddling in awkward positions.