Airbags have been around now for many years and there is no doubt that they have helped thousands of people avoid serious injury since their use became widespread in even the most modest production vehicles. However in recent years there has been some debate as to whether they may actually cause injury in some situations, and in particular are airbags safe for small children.
Situations where airbags may cause injury
In an accident, an airbag will inflate extremely rapidly, this is a fundamental requirement of an airbag as it needs to be in place before the head comes into contact with any hard objects inside the vehicle.
Problems can arise however if there is a small child sitting in the front passenger seat and they don't have a suitable booster seat for they're size. Car seatbelts are designed to hold adults securely in place in an accident, but a small child can easily slip through a seatbelt unless they have a properly fitted and adjusted booster seat.
In order for the airbag to function properly and provide the required level of protection, the person needs to be restrained by a seatbelt. If unrestrained the person will lurch forward and the force of the airbags inflation could cause more potential head or neck injuries than the accident itself.
Baby seats when fitted in the front passenger seat can also be dangerous. Even though rear facing baby seats are considered to be much safer when fitted properly, the airbag can actually force the baby seat into the back of the front passenger seat which in some situations may injure the child.
How to protect your child from injury
The best way you can protect your child from possible injury in a car accident is to not let them travel in the front passenger seat.
Use an appropriate sized booster seat for the size of your child and fit it according to the manufacturers instructions in the rear seats of your car.
If you have airbags in the rear of the car, it may be possible to temporarily disable the airbag if you intend to fit a rear facing baby seat.
Just the same as a correctly adjusted headrest can help protect an adult from Whiplash in an accident, fitting your childs car or baby seat correctly and according to the manufacturers instructions is paramount to get the best protection for your child.
If you have had a car accident that was not your fault, please give us a call us on 02392 484 244 or start your free Car Call UK claim enquiry online using the button below, and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.