CRI News Report:Are Child Car Safety Seats Safe? 简介：Download MP3 Audio 把音频贴到我的博客(Qzone)或BBS 关闭MP3地址:音频页面地址:Are Child Car Safety Seats Safe? As the number of private cars increases r…
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Are Child Car Safety Seats Safe?
As the number of private cars increases rapidly in Chinese metropolises, children's car seats are becoming the driving parents' choice. But the prices and quality can vary greatly in the market.
How reliable are these seats, and what kind of child car seats should we select?
Let's follow our reporter Liu Min to find out more.
Reporter: In a big car accessory trading center in Beijing, only a few merchants are selling child car seats, with prices ranging from around 500 yuan to 3000 yuan. When asked whether they can guarantee the safety of the seats, the manager says:
"This brand is cooperating with China Ping'an Insurance Company. If the car crashes, then the children can get insurance compensation. So our product's quality is guaranteed."
The insurance the manager mentioned is an extra casualty insurance the buyer can get in purchasing the child car seat. But can insurance prove that the seat is safe? Usually, the main reason customers buy a child car seat is to reduce injuries a child can sustain in an accident, not to get compensation when an accident occurs. According to research data from a car crash lab at Tsinghua University, currently more than 18,500 children under the age of 14 have died in car accidents in China every year, two-and-a-half times the number in Europe and the United States.
Car accidents have become the main cause of death for children under 14 years old in China. According to lab statistics, child car seat can reduce the death rate by 17%.
However, consumers can't find any information about the material the product is made of, or any safety certification marks on the seat. A sales representative says currently most of the domestically-produced child car seats lack such certification.
"It's not that the manufacturers can't produce seats with safety certifications. It's that such certification can only be authorized after crash examination, which is very costly for manufacturers. The prices are sometimes too high for customers."
Currently, there is still no unified crash examination standard for child car seats in China.
The simulated Crash Laboratory of China Vehicle Technology Research Center did a test on three different car seats from the market at different prices under the current European Standard. Each of the seats is suitable for children under three years old and the car crash test was set a speed of 50 kilometers per hour.
Director Zhang Xiaolong from the Research Center explains the test result:
"From this test, we can see that the first seat belt couldn't protect the child since the back of the seat is broken. The second test shows that the head of the seat was torn apart. The third one shows the belt broke and the child would have flown out of the car window, which could be a fatal killer. None of these three seats could protect children at all."
Now the government is planning the introduction of a legal industry standard to be publicized in June this year.
Currently the sales of the child car seats in the Chinese market is not high. Experts suggest parents buy those with Safety Certificate Marks, but such seats are priced very high, costing at least 4000 yuan in the domestic market.