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Child safety in the car
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Safety features in a family car

 



You can never be too careful! To ensure your child's safety, your car must comply with current safety standards.
The following are essential for new models: 

1.  ABS is an anti-lock braking system that allows you to apply maximum pressure on the brakes without causing the wheels to lock, enabling you to maintain control of your car. Four brake discs are better than two, but most small/city cars only have two.

2.  ESP is a stability control system primarily found in powerful cars. It prevents wheels from skidding when you accelerate or when drive on wet or icy surfaces. Depending on the manufacturer and model, it may be offered as standard or available as an extra. Just to confuse you, it also goes by the following names: ASC, DSC, DTSC, ESC, ESP+, VDC, VSA and VSC.

3.  Airbags. Opt for an airbag system that contains curtain airbags. These drop down from the roof lining and cover the windows and doors to protect passengers and avoid debris entering the car in the event of a side-on collision.

4.  Choose a car that's equipped with ISOFIX child seat mounts. ISOFIX is a standard for making it easier and safer to install child seats in cars. The principle: the seat is fastened not by the seat belt, but directly to the car, with built-in mounting points. The ISOFIX system has been present in all new models since 2006 and will be compulsory in all new cars (new and existing models) in 2011.

5.  Look for a car which has performed well in the Euro NCAP crash tests. These tests are carried out with two child dummies in the back. Five stars is the maximum score a car can achieve.

6.  Make sure there is enough space in the car's interior. Baby's feet shouldn't touch the front seat when they are strapped into the baby seat. This restricts the driver's ability to move the front seat, which is dangerous, plus leaving baby's feet touching the seat is also dangerous for him/her in the event of an accident.




  
  

Parenting Editor
2008/10/24
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