Before I was a parent, none of this stuff interested me at all. I didn’t realise how many decisions you would have to make as a parent. I literally thought that you just pop the baby out, feed it occasionally, put some clothes on them and everything else will fall into place.
I certainly didn’t even know about extended rear facing (when a baby/child rear faces in their car seat throughout toddler-hood and childhood). I heard about this when Freddie was a newbie, it didn’t really cross my mind though until he was a few months old.
I decided to do some research on this topic as I figured he won’t fit in his infant car seat for long.
The results I found were astonishing and it was apparent to me that we would be doing extended rear facing regardless. I think a large factor of what puts people off of Extended Rear Facing is the price of the car seats. Yes, they are pretty expensive but I’d rather live off beans and bread for months than risk him being seriously injured, or worse, if we ever got into a car accident.
Although the risk of being involved in a car accident may seem minimal I was shocked to learn that being in a car is more dangerous than being in an air-plane! Yes, you heard me right, hovering at 3,000 ft in the air is safer than being in a car. Car accidents are becoming more and more common and car safety is something we need to stay informed on.
There are many questions you may ask when choosing a car seat for your baby. There are many things that put people off Extended Rear Facing and I think it’s important to highlight just how important ERF is.
- Isn’t being forward facing more safe than Extended Rear Facing?
Nope, nope it’s not. A study conducted in 2007 showed that the risk of severe injury in children 12-23 months in a forward facing care seat was over 5 times higher than in rear facing. I was gob smacked when I saw this. I didn’t quite believe it as it seemed crazy, but after thorough research I realised it was in fact true.
2. Won’t my rather long child be uncomfortable in a rear facing car seat?
No, children and babies naturally sit in a position where their legs are bent and very frog-like. There are many ERF car seats available that provide plenty of leg room anyway.
3. Surely they are more likely to break their legs in a rear facing car seat?
There are many studies to actually support this claim, due to their leg position they may be more likely to break their legs if you were ever in an accident. However, I think every parent out there can agree with me on the fact that I’d prefer my child to have broken legs than a broken neck. Although there are studies to back up the fact that a child may be more likely to break their legs when being rear facing, there are ven more studies to back up the fact that a child is more likely to be severely injured or even killed when forward facing.
4. But my baby hates rear facing so I need to turn him forward facing ASAP.
Most babies hate cars. Fact. They are being restricted when they are used to roaming free and playing with their toys/ trashing your house. If your child has never faced forward then they don’t really know what they’re missing and I doubt they are crying or upset because they want to face forward; they just want to get out of the car seat. Instead, I would pack lots of toys to keep them occupied and assign someone to sit in the back with them to keep them occupied.
5. Isn’t it just a money making scam?
Nope. There is tons of research to prove that ERF is far more safe and the reason why these car seats are more expensive is because they go through extensive safety tests and are better made and most are made to last years. (Hence, extended rear facing.)
There are also more budgetable options available if you are struggling for cash. We are getting the Joie Stages for Freddie when he turns one which is usually around the £150 mark. We are asking all of his family who are planning to get him a present to put money towards his car seat instead. He has loads of toys and everything he needs so we see this as a better option.
6. But I wasn’t rear faced and I turned out fine…
I’m truly happy for you. Honestly, because thousands of children and babies didn’t. That is why it is such a hot topic nowadays. We have seen the ill affects of premature forward facing and that is why ERF is becoming more popular.
Will your children be rear facing for longer?
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