Child car seats were not originally designed with the safety of children in mind. Here, learn about the changes car seats have gone through to make them safer.

How Has the Safety of Child Car Seats Changed Since They Were First Introduced?

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evolution-of-child-safety-seatsMotor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths of children. As parents, we want to do everything we can to keep our children safe when they are being transported in a vehicle. Fortunately, children are required to sit in child car seats that give their small bodies additional protection in a car accident. However, when child car seats were first offered for purchase, they did not provide kids with the protections they currently afford.

How Did Child Car Seats Originate?

When child car seats were first introduced, they were designed to boost kids up so they could see out of the window, not for their safety, and they continued in this role through the 1960s. Here is a brief history of the evolution of child car seats:

  • 1962. The first rear-facing child car seat with safety in mind was designed.
  • 1968. Ford developed the Tot-Guard and General Motors developed the Love Seat for Toddlers car seats to keep children safer.
  • 1968. Seat belts were installed in front and back seats.
  • 1971. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) adopted the first federal standard to require the use of a seat belt to hold the child car seat in place and a harness to restrain the child in the car seat.
  • 1979. The first state mandatory child restraint law was passed in Tennessee.
  • 1985. All states have mandatory child restraint laws.
  • 1999. Universal child restraint systems were introduced with standard nylon tethers.
  • 1999. New Internet websites were developed to introduce parents to child safety issues—including car seats.
  • 2008. Usage of child car seats is estimated to be at nearly 100 percent compliance.

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Category: Kids Safety, Children Injuries and Accidents


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