In the heart of Sweden’s industrial Gothenburg, industry leaders, experts, and advocates came together at the World of Volvo headquarters for the inaugural Child and Safety Conference, hosted by Axkid, who champion rearward facing car seats.
The event was brimming with insights and discussions, including an impact simulator, the first ever child car seats and a first look at the Axkid One 3 and Axkid Up. The first speaker at the event was Lotta Jakobsson, Adj. Prof, PhD Senior Technical Specialist from Volvo Cars Safety Centre. Jakobsson’s presentation started with a bit of history as she showed us the historical roots of rearward-facing car seats. We saw images of Volvo’s groundbreaking rearward facing crash test in 1964, which was inspired by the innovative principles of NASA’s space launches. This pioneering rearward facing approach, proved that there was a redistribution of impact forces in a frontal impact collision across the head and torso.  This then laid the foundation for modern child safety standards in Sweden. Sweden, propelled by further testing, has emerged as a global advocate for rearward-facing car seats.
Statistics from 2023 reiterate this commitment to car seat safety, with an impressive 99% of 0-1 year olds and 84% among 2-3 year olds being restrained in rearward facing car seats.
These impressive numbers reflect Sweden’s dedication to prioritising children’s safety during travel—a commitment echoed throughout the conference.   A serious highlight of the conference was a video which compared forward-facing versus rearward-facing crash test simulations. In the forward-facing crash test, you plainly saw how vulnerable a child’s head is when the head is violently thrown forward, demonstrating high neck loads.  This was in stark contrast with the rearward facing crash test, which clearly protected the head and body with minimal neck loads. Throughout the event the message was clear: rearward-facing car seats offer superior protection for children, mitigating the risk of serious injury during collisions.  
The safety measures that Sweden have by implementing rearward facing clearly have reaped rewards. The data shows that between 1987-2013 among the 809 children involved in car crashes during this period, a staggering majority—747 children—escaped uninjured. 
  This statistic underscores the impact of prioritising safety measures, saving countless lives and preventing life changing injuries.   Here in the UK, with the law currently stating we can forward face a child from 15 months, the data speaks for itself.  According to the NCMD, between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2022, 211 deaths occurred among children and young people over a three-year period, highlighting the urgent need to address the safety standards and like our Swedish cousins and embrace evidence-based practices.

Axkid, who pride themselves on always innovating and pushing the boundaries, launched the Axkid One 3 —a revolutionary rearward facing Isofix car seat, designed for children up to 23kg and 125cm. It has been put through its paces by over testing in the Swedish Plus Test, ensuring that it surpasses safety benchmarks. Axkid have also prioritised parents with easy installation, promising a 30 second installation guarantee. 


The conference also addressed critical gaps in child transportation for disabled children. Axkid’s collaboration with Hernik to develop car seats tailored for disabled children showed a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility—an essential step towards ensuring safety for all children, regardless of their unique needs. Here in the UK, the vast majority of disabled children travel in a pushchair that is only tethered by its wheels.


Tommy Pettersson, (Mr Rear Facing!) creator of The Swedish Plus Test, is a known advocate for rearward-facing car seats. His passionate presentation at the conference supported the overwhelming evidence showing the need for continued education and awareness, especially across europe. The Swedish Plus Test, tests at higher speeds (56.5km/h), with a higher grade of deceleration (tougher pulse), and importantly measures neck forces. The biggest test of all is that it is a voluntary test for rearward facing car seat manufacturers. 


As an industry, we should advocate a collective responsibility to champion child safety and advocate for evidence-based practices. The contrast between Sweden’s progressive approach and the lag in other regions, such as the UK, calls for concerted efforts to bridge this divide. With ongoing collaboration, innovation, and education, we can pave the way towards a safer future for our children on the road.

About Axkid

Axkid is a Swedish car seat company that develops, manufactures and sells car seats with the aim to drive safety and innovation forward, meeting today’s high requirements for safety, design, and comfort. Axkid’s products are developed in line with the Scandinavian philosophy that rear-facing travel is the safest.

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