Diaries Magazine

Keeping Your Baby Safer for Longer in the Car

By Sjay235 @naturalmommainm
Ever wondered why baby seats face rear-wards in a car, and seats for older babies and toddlers face forward? Until I started researching when pregnant, I had no idea that there was a whole group of car seats which are for older babies and toddlers which are also rear facing. But...why would anyone want their toddler facing backwards in the car? What is the point of it?
It all comes down to one word: safety. Rear facing cars seats are proven to be safer for children in the event of a collision.
Here are 2 videos I saw which can help explain why:

If you don't have time to watch the videos the brief idea is this - in a collision people are most likely to be thrown forwards. In a normal car seat, this throws a child forward into the straps, with nothing to support their head, which can cause serious injury. In a rear facing car seat, the child's whole body (including head and neck) are forced into the cushioned car seat and are much better protected. That's why the law says that SMALL babies must be rear facing in a car - and why the law is changing to increase the height (rather than weight or age) limit at which children can be turned forward facing.
Now, a lot of people say "Oh (s)he loves facing forwards so they can see where they are going!" and, in fact, someone said to me recently "Just wait until you put her in the next seat up - she will love being able to see forwards". I didn't have the heart to tell them that putting her in the next seat up and having her face forwards is not something I am looking forward to at all.
Because, even though I know keeping her rear facing for longer is safest, the erf seats are so very expensive that it may not be a viable option for us. I know there is really no way I can put a price on Isabelle's safety, but for many families across the UK, these seats are just sadly too expensive. Maxi-Cosi have just launched a new erf car seat - which is great as there are so few on the market - but it's expense is even greater as an isofix is needed to use it. So many 'normal' car seats are available for very little, and can last your child from under 1 until they no longer need a car seat.Another issue is car size - erf seats are much bulkier than other car seats, and may not fit in smaller family cars - especially if you have more than one child.
Keeping your baby safer for longer in the car
For now, I will keep Isabelle in her 'baby' car seat until she has completely outgrown it, so I can keep her rear facing for as long as possible. The most important thing is to have a car seat which is correctly fitted, and suitable for her weight and height. So, whichever seat we choose next will be carefully researched to make sure it is 100% the best choice for our situation.
If you want to find out more info about rear facing your little for longer, check out:
Rear Facing - the way forward
Had you heard of rear facing older children? Is it something you've considered, or something you do? Or do you think there is no real need for it?

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