Rear-facing has been proven to be up to 5 times safer, yet only 29% of children by the age of four is travelling in the safest direction in Sweden. This is being showed by the Swedish insurance company Folksam’s report about rear-facing safety.
Is Sweden actually a role model?
Sweden is for many seen as a role model when it comes to child safety and even if the numbers are way better than in the rest of Europe the numbers are alarming and especially regarding the knowledge that most of the countries in Europe are being much worse.
Seven out of ten parents in Sweden are turning their child forward facing way to early, already by the age of four. But at the same time the numbers are being alarming, a positive trend is being seen with increased numbers of rear-facing travellers when comparing with the same kind of report back in the year 2006. But we should not be fooled and satisfied by “a positive trend”. The change must be done quicker, it is children’s lives we are talking about!
Challenge the myths
It is all about challenging the status quo. The report from Folksam shows that the main reason for parents turning their children forward was because of “the child being too big for the car seat” or that “there is not enough leg room for the child”.
Today there are car seats on the market allowing real extended rear-facing until 125cm which is the middle length for a 7year old child in Sweden. Of course, we are aware of that all children grows in different paces when it comes to both length and weight, however today there are innovative solutions that fits most of the children way longer than to the age of four.
How can I make a change?
It is all about building awareness. We have no doubt every parent wants the very best and safest for their child. But if the information and knowledge is not there, how could the the safest option be present? It won’t.
Together we must spread the word about rear-facing, the possibility to travel rear-faced for even longer. Time is changed and innovative solutions are there on the market to provide the children with the highest possible safety and to stay rear-faced for as long as possible. We just have to create a common understanding about rear-facing safety and the let the life-saving message reach out to all parents in Europe.