Extended Rear-Facing car seats have become more apparent in recent years. A focus is now for parents to consider ‘rear-facing for longer.
If you have used (or are using) the infant carrier stage car seat, you will know that it is only rearward facing. Extended Rearward Facing gives you the option to have your child continue travelling backwards….. for longer.
Why continue with Rearward Facing?
When a child is installed rearward facing, should a ‘frontal’ impact occur they are considered to be in the best position? This is because your child’s body is pushed backwards into the shell of the restraint. Your child’s head and neck area are less exposed to frontal forces. A child’s body is constantly developing, unlike an adult.
In a frontal impact, your child is pushed back into the shell of the restraint and in the opposite direction to the 5-point harness. When your child is fitted in a 5-point harness it should be tight. Although your child will be pushed back into the seat initially, they will still feel a motion towards the 5-point harness as the impact progresses. The restraint’s tight harness will keep your child secure from excessive movement. Anybody's motion towards the harness will now be decreasing as the energy and forces from the impact come to an end.
It is possible and likely that an impact could happen in a split second. (A blink and you’ve missed it kind of scenario). We’ve been fortunate enough to see some children’s car seats being tested on the ‘rigs’ You need to watch the footage in slow motion to apricate the job a good child restraint does, and how a child’s body reacts to the impact.
If you think of a tennis or baseball player hitting the ball. They provide the energy and force to accelerate the ball. The ball gains momentum to a ‘peak’ and then gradually slows down. It’s the same with the energy and forces in a vehicle impact. The peak, then reduces while objects absorb and spread.
Statistics show that more frontal collisions happen. As you can never predict a collision, you can never predict what is going to happen or what the end result will be.
Rearward facing for longer can be a good thing. Extended Rear-Facing car seats typically offer an increased weight to 25kg. By maximising the integrated harness you can delay moving to the last stage seat that uses the vehicle seat belt (Highback Booster). Rearward Facing for longer does not need to have a time limit. You may choose rearward facing for longer in the infant carrier. Depending on the manufacturer guidelines and your child’s growth the infant carrier could enable two years of use. You could then choose a 360 swivel with both rearward and forward positions. Or choose a rearward-facing restraint only. You can even choose a forward-facing seat.
You may come across statistic’s saying that rearward facing is ‘X amount of times safer than forward-facing. Or just ‘rearward facing is safer. At Click, we believe that you can’t make their statements without following them through with…… ‘In a frontal impact’.
Your vehicle gets you from A to B. It’s also a killing machine and an object of 360 degrees. Traffic can come from all directions, you and other drivers can manoeuvre a vehicle in directions other than forwards. You are not guaranteed to have a frontal collision or be guaranteed that your child will be safer in a rearward-facing seat. (The same applies to forward-facing).
As a parent you have options. At Click Car Seats we are very balanced when it comes to both directions. We don’t look to influence you towards one or the other. We can help you assess your family requirements and give you independent advice to help you make a decision. Purchasing and using a children’s car seat is just as much about practicality as it is about safety. Whatever direction you choose for your child, you need to be 100% confident that you are installing and using the seat correctly.
You make decisions on safety for your child/children every day, the direction of travel for your child is a decision you will make as well. It will also be the right decision. Whatever you choose, it simply needs to give you peace of mind on every journey. Otherwise, what is the alternative? Not to travel.
For help with any direction of travel, before you make a purchase, you can contact us through the website and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.