The rapid growth of a child from infancy up to the age of twelve years makes it impossible to provide one restraint system that meets all the stages of the child’s development to the same degree.
At present, there are two systems available for securing children in cars: forward-facing or backward-facing. The system facing away from the direction of travel is particularly suitable for infants and very young children. Since the ratio of head weight to body weight is substantially higher in small children, the child’s backward-facing position protects them against cervical spine injury. Older children, whose neck muscles are better developed, are best secured in child safety seats that are installed in the direction of travel.