Volvo Cars, the first car maker to actively test child seats in crash tests as far back as the early 1960s, is launching a range of three new child seats with a focus on design, comfort and convenience.
Brian Joss – As a pioneer in child safety, Volvo Cars’ heritage of development, testing and clear installation and usage guidelines for parents is unequalled.
“We understand that many people find child safety in cars a complex and sometimes confusing subject. We have focused for many years on communicating clear guidelines around how child seats should be used and the correct way to install them,” says Lotta Jakobsson, Adjunct Professor, PhD and Senior Technical Leader, Injury Prevention at Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
Teaching adults how to install and operate a child seat is one thing, getting the child to stay in the seat is entirely another– especially when the child gets older.
“Our focus is on ensuring that young children travel in the safest manner possible, depending on their size and age. This means rearward-facing up to the age of at least 3 or 4 years and after that with child seats or booster cushions up to 140 cm in height. The safety benefits are unquestionable, yet many parents unwittingly allow their children to sit forward-facing too early. One of the many reasons quoted for this is comfort – the child complains that there is not enough legroom, or is too warm due to the upholstery,” continues Jakobsson.
Volvo Cars’ new-generation child seats are made with a more breathable and comfortable upholstery comprised of 80% wool textile which makes the seats smoother to the touch, highly durable, and better-performing in both hot and cold climates. The seats also have a slimmer design aimed at increasing legroom and overall comfort.
“We believe that children will be more comfortable in our new rearward-facing seat and that this will encourage parents to keep their children rearward-facing for longer. This will have a direct impact on overall child safety and supports Vision 2020, where no one will be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo car by the year 2020,” she adds.
The new seats are designed to suit the needs of children of different ages and sizes:
- Infant seat – rearward-facing (up to 13 kg or 1 year)
- Child seat – rearward-facing for children from 9 months up to 6 years (least 3-4 years as recommended by Volvo)
- Booster seat – forward-facing for children that have outgrown the rearward-facing seat (from 3-10 years old)
Volvo Cars continues to focus on the importance of children travelling in rearward-facing seats as long as possible.
The new seats, developed with one of the world’s leading child seat makers, Britax-Römer, and tested at Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, will be available in South Africa from July.