What do you think of rear facing car seats for kids up to 4 ?

I didn’t know you could get rear facing car seats for kids up to the age of 4. When the campaign to promote them was bought to my attention I thought:

  • Gosh that would look weird
  • How bored would the child be!

However the facts startled me. According to  http://rearfacing.motors.co.uk/ who are campaigning around this issue:

  • It has been recognised by a range of accredited experts, including the British Medical Journal and ANEC, that rear facing car seats are up to five times safer for children
  • Many experts recommend that children should be kept in Group 1 rear facing car seats until the age of four
  • It is the legal guideline in the Nordics for children to be rear facing until the age of four
  • The fatality figures for children under six years of age during a car collision are twice as high in the UK compared to Sweden

Well to be honest bored and weird looking don’t really come into it when you look at these figures do they? The site also has videos on how to fit these seats and how to entertain a child in one.

Apparently along with me a further 70% of UK’s parents are unaware that Group 1 rear facing car seats exist and they can only currently be purchased from two high street retailers so not yet a big trend.

I have to say this campaign has really made me think.

Many car seats manufacturers do not supply Group 1 rear facing car seats to the UK, whilst they are supplied to the rest of EuropeThe aim of the Motors.co.uk Rear Facing campaign is simple…… educate and increase the knowledge of the safety benefits of rear facing car seats in the UK.

RoSPA view…

RoSPA agree that it is safer to carry children rearward facing for as long as possible; to the age of four if convenient. British parents should be given all the information they need about rear facing verus forward facing car seats, in order to make an informed decision about the model they feel is right for their child.

It is worth noting however that forward facing seats are designed and tested to European Standards (ECE R44.03 or R44.04), and are in  no way considered  ‘unsafe’. 

However if you can get safer why wouldn’t you?

 

This is a    but my opinions are entirely my own.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Kate
    July 26, 2012 / 11:15 am

    My Swedish friend introduced the idea to me. Once I’d seen the figures there was NO way I could have not gone rear facing. Our 15 month old has been in hers for a couple of months now (she’s a titch!) and she’s absolutely fine in it. She doesn’t know any different! We use the viewing mirror we have always had with her infant seat and she can see out the window fine – we sit backwards on a train sometimes and don’t get bored because of it!

    We have bought one which does forward face as well, although it rear faces until age 4, in case we find ourselves in an unbearable battle of wills with a stroppy 3 year old! It is my one woman mission to educate anyone who will listen, I cannot understand why it is not more usual here, why would you not choose something that is the same price but 5 times safer?

    Thankyou for raising the issue – sorry for my rant!

  2. July 26, 2012 / 8:34 pm

    I looked into them when I was looking to move my son out of his infant seat. My online mum friends discussed them a lot, and I think out of 100 of us, only 2 have actually opted for one (one of whom is Scandinavian). I think we all buy into the safety aspect, and I wanted to keep my son rear facing as long as possible, but with the lack of places selling in the UK, and difficulty of access to actually try them in your car, there’s just no way I would spend £300+ on one to risk it not fitting etc.

    Apart from the price (and our income’s pretty good so that outlay wouldn’t be a disaster), I needed to have a car seat for my car, one for on the farm – to be able to go into 2 different cars, and potentially my mum’s, and then my sister-in-law uses her son’s old seat now she looks after my son 2 days a week. So, that’s a lot of spending to be doing. Oh, and 2 of the cars on the farm can only take around 5 Group1+ seats anyway due to the type of seat belts they have, so rear facing would only be an option in mine…which is a company car, so potentially a change of car would mean the purchased car seat wouldn’t fit.

    I think until rear facing seats become more the norm, and car manufacturers allow for more space to allow for the bulkiness of them (I tried one that was rear facing then moved to forward in mine – and my OH wouldn’t have been able to sit in the passenger seat for long with his legs up by his chin!), then the price will come down and more people will use them.

    Until them, I’m happy with the safety tests that car seats go through – I know I’ve done the research, but it wasn’t a realistic option for us.

    (Also, I’ve not seen the research, but were the comparisons done with the same cars – as there’s a lot of Volvos in Scandinavia which are amongst the safest cars, or in test centres comparing Rear and front facing?)

  3. July 27, 2012 / 9:12 am

    the only thing I have to wonder is have they enough room for their legs? with a front facing seat their legs dangle over the edge, with a rear facing is there enough room. I remember them from the early stage and they fit right into the seat ( obviously) so where do the children out their legs please? Sorry if that sounds daft.

  4. Becky
    Author
    July 29, 2012 / 9:37 am

    apparently there is but I havent tried them

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