Car airbag safety and children
Airbags have saved countless lives since their introduction, but some people have questioned their safety with regard to children. Some experts claim that they can actually cause injuries to children in certain circumstances.
Why airbags can be dangerous
When an airbag is triggered, it inflates at a very high speed. If a child is sitting in the front seat and is not securely restrained because they are too small or don't have an adequate booster seat, they can sometimes be injured by the rapid inflation of the airbag. Seatbelts are designed to be used by adults and hold them firmly in place in the event of an accident. A small child without a suitable booster seat may not be held in place and so at the moment of impact they may lurch forward just as the airbag inflates, causing potential head or neck injuries.
Although properly secured rear facing child or baby seats are considered to be a lot safer generally than front facing ones, they can actually be dangerous if fitted to the front passenger seat. A rapidly inflating airbag can push the child seat into the back of the car seat which under some circumstances could suffocate the child.
An incorrectly fitted child car seat can be dangerous in any position in a car, however it is generally recommended that children travel in the rear passenger seats where airbags do not tend to be fitted.
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