Is my child safe against the counter? - Pediatric physiotherapist

In reverse gear it is safer because ...

Children need a child restraint system (SRI) appropriate to their characteristics because children are not miniature adults. The physiological differences that make us consider retention devices specifically designed for them are:

  • The head ratio. Up to 3 years, a child's head represents between 20 and 25% of his total body weight, while in the adult, it is only 6%.

  • The skeletal system is under development. Babies and young children's bones have a large cartilaginous component as they form.

In the specific case of the cervical vertebrae, they are also made up of three portions of bone joined together by cartilage that, until three to six years old, does not become a complete vertebral ring of bone, although the process is not complete until puberty. This makes the protection of the spinal cord and the vascularization that passes through the medullary canal ineffective in cases of strong traction.

  • Immature motor control. During the first years of life we learn to dominate and control our body against voluntary actions or also in unexpected situations in which we need our body to react quickly and autonomously, but due to the laws of development this process is long, making the A child's body reacts more slowly and with little precision.
  • Brain. This is "suspended" inside the skull and surrounded by the meninges that are also in full development, protecting it more ineffectively than that of an adult.
  • The airways are proportionally smaller and soft. Making it easier for them to collapse.

And now you will ask yourself,and what relationship does all this have with Child Restraint Systems?

Statistics tell us that the most frequent accidents are FRONTAL and, when we analyze which are the most vulnerable areas in this type of accident, we find that they have a direct relationship with the characteristics that we mentioned earlier. The most vulnerable areas in an impact are:

  • Head: brain and cervicals.
  • Abdomen.
  • Extremities (to a lesser extent and severity).

When we travel in favor of the march and we have a frontal impact, the body by inertia would continue advancing but it has the harness or belt that retains it, but not the head that is projected forward. If we also add that it is a baby, that its head weighs 25% of its total weight and that it is held by an immature musculoskeletal system that cannot counteract this great force to which it is subjected, we know that the consequences we will have are:

  • The brain It will impact inside the skull from the anterior and posterior part following the movements of the head at the moment of impact.
  • The cervical They are carried by the head and with them also the spinal cord and the entire vascular bundle they contain, being able to lengthen up to 5 cm with two possible consequences: an atlantooccipital dislocation (of the first two vertebrae) and / or a medullary section (which is already gives from 2 cm of cervical elongation), giving rise to severe neurological injuries.

The traction force to which cervicals can be subjected in a child up to 4 years of age is 130 kg maximum. It has been analyzed that traveling in favor of the march, this traction is 250 kg, while in reverse gear it is between 30 and 60 kg.

With respect to abdomen: the vital organs are protected by the ribs, still immature (soft) bones that cannot absorb the impact and what they do is yield to the pressure of the belt and pass the pressure directly to the internal organs.

The extremities they can be affected by the impact against elements of the car.

And the summary of all this is that if we have a frontal impact traveling in favor of the march, even if it is at low speed, we have a good chance of suffering serious consequences because the body of a small child is not prepared.

How can you reduce the severity of injuries in a frontal impact?

The laws of physics tell us that if we put the chair into reverse gear, the forces exerted by a frontal impact are absorbed by the back of the retention device and are distributed evenly throughout the head, neck and torso, thus reducing the possibility of suffering serious injuries, since the whole body is collected by the chair.

In addition, the infant or toddler suffers fewer postural modifications (the head does not suffer whiplash) and the pressure of the abdomen is reduced during impact, thus also reducing the chances of injury.

As you can see in this article the importance of traveling in reverse gear It should extend to at least 4 years.

The rear-facing saddles were designed to prevent or reduce injuries, as well as restraining them.

Laia Maseras

Col. 7098

Pediatric Physiotherapist

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