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Safety group recommends car seats for kids until age of 12

The Finnish Road Safety Council says children should travel in car seats until they're at least 150cm tall.

Lapsia auton vierellä.
Under current law, kids in Finland must ride in a child car seat until they are at least 135cm tall. Image: Toni Pitkänen / Yle

The Finnish Road Safety Council has updated its car seat recommendations, calling for children to travel in car seats until they reach 150cm in height, or until they’re about 12 years old.

Finnish law currently stipulates that kids 135cm and below must travel in car seats.

The council said it may be difficult to convince guardians to keep kids in car seats longer if it’s not the law.

However, the group noted that its new recommendation is in line with European child seat directives. The country's current 135cm rule dates back to 2006 and during that time Finland was granted an exemption from the directive, according to the council.

National Coalition Party MP and former police officer Marko Kilpi welcomed the new recommendation, noting that automobile manufacturers design safety features with adult passengers in mind.

He noted that children are physiologically different from adults as their head weighs more in proportion to the rest of their body than their fully-grown counterparts.

However Seppo Eskelinen (SDP), Kilpi’s fellow member on Parliament’s Transport and Communications committee, told Yle he didn’t believe it was necessary to change car seat height rules. He said installing larger booster seats in cars could pose technical challenges in some vehicles.

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