Find the best rear-facing car seat of 2017
- Infant car seats Read our infant car seat reviews and recommendations here.
- Convertible car seats Read our convertible car seat reviews and recommendations here.
Why Are Rear Facing Car Seats so important?
Research has shown that rear facing car seats are the safest option for your baby.The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children ride rear facing until they are at least 2 years old, and research in the past has shown that your baby is 5 times safer riding in a rear facing car seat than a forward facing one.
The logic behind rear facing car seats.
During a car accident, rear facing car seats offer the greatest support to your child’s head, neck, and spine, and stop your child’s head from being violently jerked away from their body during a car accident as would happen during a frontal accident.
Young children are at a greater risk of getting head and spinal injuries. This is as a result of their bones and ligaments which are weak and are still developing. A child in a rear facing car seat is instead cradled safely in their car seat due to the forces of inertia.
Rear facing car seats also distribute the forces of a car crash evenly across the shell of the car seat.
Here are three really helpful things to consider when buying a rear facing car seat:
- Extended Rear-Facing: Rear facing car seats are the safest way for your children to travel. Consider buying a car seat that has a weight limit of 40+ pounds. Do not put your child in a forward facing car seat simply because they meet minimum requirements. Rear facing car seats save lives.
- Expiry Date: Some rear facing car seats will expire long before your child has the chance to outgrow them, owing to their 5 year life span. Consider an extended rear facing car seat with an 8, 10 or a 12 year lifespan.
- Used Car Seats: Our advice is: No matter how sweet or tempting the deal is, never buy a used car seat. Age, accidents (even the tiniest fender bender), expiry dates, or just wear; it’s very hard to determine the history of the car seat. Your child’s life is not worth a discount.
Some of these rear facing car seats have safety options such as side impact protection, anti-rebound bars, simple/easy-to-use LATCH mechanism installation with longer rear faced limits, thus allowing for longer use.
Should your child outgrow the height and weight limits of your rear facing infant car seat, change them to a convertible car seat (still rear facing) with greater weight and height limits. This ensures your child stays rear facing for as long as possible.
Keep children rear facing till they are two years old at minimum, and ideally until the are 4 years of age. Check your car seat guide to find out the height and weight suggested for your child’s seat.
Look for car seats that will keep your child rear facing as long as possible. There are rear-facing seats on the market that allow up to forty five pounds or twenty kilograms (that’s typically around four years of age, if not longer.)
This is more economical because you get to use the seat for longer.
Your rear facing car seat questions answered.
As children age, their feet typically touch the seat and they will eventually have to sit with their legs bent or crossed.
This can be worrying to some parents who worry that the kid is not comfortable or that their legs may be hurt during a car accident. This is not the case, however.
The risk of injury to a child’s legs in a car accident crash is very low, and typically less severe compared to those that occur when children are in forward facing car seats.
As long as your children are in the car seat’s weight and height limits, they are actually quite comfy, too.
Keep your kids in the middle of the car seat with a clear line of sight outside the rear window, and restricted visibility out the side windows. This will keep your child from feeling nauseated.
My child needs to see the outside!
Rear-facing need not be boring! Older children will ride quite upright so they will be able to see out the rear windows. If there’s a head rest interfering with your child’s line of sight, simply remove it.
Keep your child entertained with a range of toys and games. Here are our recommendations about buying car seat toys for your baby