You’ve heard that your child should be in an extended rear facing car seat, but you may not know why. After years of research, keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat is really the best thing for them. The recommendation is that children should be rear facing until at least 2, but extended rear facing is encouraged. Read on to find out why it’s safer to do extended rear facing.
The head is safer when rear facing
When you’re putting your kid rear facing, just know that their head is much safer. When your child’s head is forward facing, in a car accident, their head is jerked away from their chest, causing a lot of damage. In a rear-facing car seat, your child’s head is cradled in a much better position. Your child’s neck and head are more likely to come out with less damage in a car accident when rear facing than not. Of course, the longer you can keep them rear facing the better as this means their head will be protected longer.
The legs are fine in a car accident
One of the biggest arguments for people who don’t believe in extended rear facing is the legs. Research shows that much more damage is done to the legs when forward facing in a car accident than rear facing. When your child gets bigger and you’re worried about them fitting in the car seat, while rear facing, just know that it is much safer! Your child can easily fold their legs up and there is plenty of comfort. Remember a car seat is more about safety than comfort anyways. Your child would much rather be alive than uncomfortable. Also, remember that kids joints and bones are still developing and they are a lot more flexible than we give them credit for.
It’s becoming a state law everywhere
Laws don’t just appear one day when someone decides they want to change it. Keep in mind that in order for a law to be passed, there has to be evidence built up on why it should be a law. Every single day, more and more states are becoming aware of the safety of rear facing car seats and extended rear facing benefits. You should consider rear facing your child for as long as possible because a lot of states are making it a law!
Rear facing is just the safest way to travel
A common argument for someone who doesn’t understand why things are the way they are is that “things never used to be this way.” Studies have shown that rear-facing is all around a better way to travel. There is less impact on the body and in case of a car accident, the body doesn’t receive as much damage. So, in case you think extended rear facing is an opinion, it’s more so a fact. It’s a scientific fact that the longer your child sits in a car seat rear-facing, the safer they are!
If your child is ever in a car accident, there is often stress on the neck and the spine. Let this next statement soak in: “When someone is rear facing, crashes two and three occur in concert and the forces of the crash are more equally diffused along the shell of the seat, holding the neck and spine in line (Car Seats for the Littles).” The impact on your little one’s body is less when they’re rear facing, which is a scientific fact we can all get behind.
Amber Myers says
I so agree with this. I probably didn’t keep my kids rear facing as long as I should. When they were around 1 I turned them. Now I know better!
Jessi Joachim says
I could not agree more with all of this! I am all for extended rear facing. My son is 2 and no sign of going forward facing any time soon! He is super tiny though, so that adds to it a bit
This was a very interesting read. I don’t have children but I do have a friend who does and every time we go somewhere together, the baby’s car seat is rear facing. Now I understand why.
Alejandra Graf says
I had no idea about this! I will share this post, it is so good.
Sarah Bailey says
I don’t have kids so I’ve never really thought about how having them in a car can make all the difference, I have heard rear facing is meant to be a really good thing and should be done for as long as possible.
Jack Marbida says
Ensuring that your kids are properly set up while in the car is imperative. I have a less than 2-year-old toddler who always so rowdy while inside the car. so this is very helpful for me.
Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com says
I totally agree with this! My kids are both out of car & booster seats now, but I had kept them rear facing as babies/toddlers as long as they would fit!
Shannan P says
When my boys were still in car seats, none of this information was available to us! So glad that they have done the research to find ways to make kids safer now!
My son and his wife kept their daughter turned backwards for as very long as possible. People were telling them it was too long, but they’d done their research.
Ola @ WanderWithOla says
This is a really interesting post. I get dizzy easily when go rear facing myself, but with so many benefits that you mentioned above, I would absolutely keep my kids getting used to rear facing (when I got one, one day!) Thank you for sharing this!
These are great tips. Yes I too did rear racing when my kids are young. Even though when they cry it is not easy to see what is happening there. Rear facing is always safest.
This is so true!! I did a blog post a while back with my local car seat safety commission about the right car seats for the right ages, and I agree with you completely about rear facing car seats. They are simply more safe, period!! I had to turn mine around when my kid got so big he started kicking the back seat and one day he actually popped the seat from its socket!! That was scary, but it was the end of that. Anyway, great post, thanks for sharing!
This is a useful info for couples having toddles. I have pinned this post. Thank you for sharing it.
Vaibhav Mehta says
I haven’t seen this implemented in Dubai or India. Quite an interesting and important safety regulation with tiny tots in the vehicle.
My son stayed rear facing up until he outgrew the state and car seat requirements to turn to forward facing. I agree it is much safer, thanks for sharing!