Rear facing car seats

baldrick

Novice Member
I did a quick search for similar threads but didn't find much.

Here in the US the recommendation is to keep children in a rear facing car seat until they are at least 2 (Scandinavian countries raise the age to 4), so we have a rear facing Recaro for our 8 month old.

We're coming to the UK for a visit next March and my father has offered to buy a car seat so it can be installed and ready to go when we arrive but it appears that rear facing seats in the UK are the exception so I wanted to see what the good folks of AV Forums are using?
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Rear facing seats are only used for young babies here, when you have them in seats with carrying handles.
Size rather than age dictates when you get a forward facing seat, but our two were finally big enough to go into forward facing seats at around 12 months.
These are seats with their own over the shoulder harnesses and a central buckle, like fighter pilots wear.
Here's a good link for you.

http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/types/index.htm
 
same answer as fzr, btw excellent bike, little pocket rocket they are :)
 

Wasabi

Active Member
I bought my friend's Maxi Cosi 2nd hand rear facing rear seat, which he brought over from Sweden brought over.
This site is excellent for information on which one and where to buy - Rear Facing - the way forward
My county, essex county council is now also promoting rear facing car seats, and they produced this document as well as they have a safety centre in Rayleigh where you can take your car and try the different seats available on the UK market.

If I were to buy a new one of the ones available here in UK, it would definitely be Besafe or possibly Maxi Cosi.

I have always tried to promote rear facing to friends for kids up to 4 years (or until their head reaches over the backrest edge). Not only that, in Scandinavia, rear facing on the front passenger seat is the norm, as you have complete eye control when you drive as well as the passive safety is better at the front historically (car manufacturers only now started to pay attention to passive safety at the back)

Hope this helps,

wasabi
 

baldrick

Novice Member
Size rather than age dictates when you get a forward facing seat
But that's based on the size (weight) limits set by the seat manufacturers. Our Recaro goes up to 35lbs rear facing and the turns around to become front facing all the way up to 70lbs...
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
I have always tried to promote rear facing to friends for kids up to 4 years (or until their head reaches over the backrest edge).

TBH, I think it's ludicrous to expect a 4 year old to still face backwards in a car.
Whilst there may be debatable safety gains in them facing backwards at this age, I think there are too many negatives.
For starters, it's plain anti-social and will make them feel bad when everyone else is facing forwards.
Secondly, there are proven motion sickness issues with people sitting backwards to the direction of travel (airlines have done experiments).
Unless they make it law here, not something I'll be doing.:nono:
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
We flip ours to front ASAP - pretty much in-line with FZ's comments - can't remember exactly when but around 12-months ish. When they are rear-facing you can't see them for starters - although you get get a hall of mirrors set up.

Here's some terrible photos of our current set-up for our 4-year, 2-year and 4-month olds.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/14937237-post68.html
 

baldrick

Novice Member
TBH, I think it's ludicrous to expect a 4 year old to still face backwards in a car.
I think the statistics will show you that far more children walk away from serious crashes in Sweden than they do in the UK?
Whilst there may be debatable safety gains in them facing backwards at this age, I think there are too many negatives.
These crash test videos make for interesting viewing: Rear Facing - the way forward
For starters, it's plain anti-social and will make them feel bad when everyone else is facing forwards.
On the flip side, we just did a 280 mile journey and our son slept for a good chunk but when we woke up and got a bit irritable my wife was able to get in the back and sit playing with him as they were facing each other....
Secondly, there are proven motion sickness issues with people sitting backwards to the direction of travel (airlines have done experiments).
I've spent a fair amount of time travelling backwards on trains and planes (BA have rear facing seats in Club World) and never had an issue? I think for a child who's only ever travelled in a rear-facing seat it's a non-issue?

Regardless of my devil's advocate stance it is a bit strange how the UK isn't on the same bandwagon as places like Sweden and the US?
 

Wasabi

Active Member
TBH, I think it's ludicrous to expect a 4 year old to still face backwards in a car.
Whilst there may be debatable safety gains in them facing backwards at this age, I think there are too many negatives.
For starters, it's plain anti-social and will make them feel bad when everyone else is facing forwards.
Secondly, there are proven motion sickness issues with people sitting backwards to the direction of travel (airlines have done experiments).
Unless they make it law here, not something I'll be doing.:nono:

Always nice to have a gentle debate with you ;p

TBH, I have never heard of about anti-social negatives on kids sitting rear facing when I grew up in Sweden. I agree with Baldrick. When the kid is rear facing, you have a much better interaction and facial contact with him/her, whether you are the passenger or a back seat passenger. Also, as you have facial contact, you will make a more effort to interact with the kids. Its up to the adults to make them comfortable and enjoy the rear facing mode.

My daughter is loving it being able to interact with mummy at all times.

wasabi
 

DIYlady

Distinguished Member
Wasabi said:
. Not only that, in Scandinavia, rear facing on the front passenger seat is the norm, as you have complete eye control when you drive as well as the passive safety is better at the front historically

wasabi

Rear facing seats and airbags don't mix so unless you can be absolutely sure of turning air bags off an on again the this is to such a good idea. Drivers eyes sould be on road not passenger seat, though I can see the attraction of this
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
we woke up and got a bit irritable my wife was able to get in the back and sit playing with him as they were facing each other....

All well and good until child #2 comes along and you have two rear-facing kids in the back and you can't fit an adult in (in the vast majority of cars).
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
When the kid is rear facing, you have a much better interaction and facial contact with him/her, whether you are the passenger or a back seat passenger.

This doesn't make sense to me.
Whether you're a passenger or a back seat passenger?
You'd have to be a back seat passenger, otherwise how would you get facial contact with a kid facing backwards in the rear of a car?:confused:
 

Wasabi

Active Member
Sorry for being confusing.

In my case, my daughter is in the back, as my wife doesn't drive, so she sits at the back and can interact with her. And I rarely drive on my own with my daughter.

If you were a driver and only drive one kid, then in vast majority cases in Sweden, 1st kid would sit rear facing at the front passenger seat, due to direct control over the kid.

For a 2nd kid, then one would be at the front passenger seat, and one at the rear passenger seat. So yes, when there are 2 kids, one kid would be at the back not having direct facial interaction with the driver. However, no parent has complained, and most of us adults went through the same thing i.e. one of siblings had to sit at the back, and doubt Swedes are lacking in communication or confidence.

Obviously, in Sweden which is a large country and wide roads and small population, majority has large cars i.e. the size of Ford Mondeo, Volvo V70's etc, and these cars are wide enough for 2 kid seats and 1 adult in the middle, if there is a family of 5. If a family of 4, then there will be 1 adult and 1 akid at each row usually.

Anyway, yes, the Scandinavian takes safety really seriously, and rear facing has been law for a long time, so safety is number one when it comes to kids. The car manufacturers even provide holes under the front passenger seat so parents can use a non isofix car seat, and all cars has a standard key to turn off passenger airbag.

Here in UK, its naughty by manufacturers like Ford and Mazda (some models) you have to pay extra a key to turn off passenger airbag. Rip off UK I guess, even when it comes to safety. Oh esp, was made law in Sweden a while ago, and car prices didn't go up as an effect (as it would cause an outrage amongst the public to have to pay for certain types of safety featuers. gain in UK, the car brands are left it out as long as possible until it became EU law, and charged extra for it.

Apologies for the long reply.

wasabi
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Wasabi said:
If you were a driver and only drive one kid, then in vast majority cases in Sweden, 1st kid would sit rear facing at the front passenger seat, due to direct control over the kid.

wasabi

It's interesting that you consider sweden's methods better, then mention the above.
Here it is considered much safer to have a child in the rear of a car, as most accidents are frontal impact.
I also would not like the extra distraction of having a young child in the front beside me.
If they're beside you and you can see their face, you're going to look at them more than if they're facing the same direction as you!
Our eldest was fully 6+ before she occasionally got to move her seat into the front, and even at 8yo she travels in the back more than the front.
 
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imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
I'm with FZ - infant in the front seat sounds mad to me - no way - >especially< in a rear-facing seat.

I'm sure they left off the 'key' and made it an extra becase no-one would want it so no point making everyone pay for one.
 

Wasabi

Active Member
Here is a excellent summary of the key facts about having child seat at the front seats. There are almost 0 fatalities for kids 0-6 in Sweden, so, all the arguments put forward in this thread what is bad about rear facing and rear facing in the front has for long been proved against, since the 80s.
Are car seats in front seat safe? | CarSeat.se

This Volvo pdf, on page 20, shows statistical comparison between Sweden and Germany. And you can see where after 1 year, where in Germany children sit front facing like here, the death rate increases significantly, whereas in Sweden where you sit rear facing up to 4 years (or a particular height), it stays pretty similar.
http://www.adventuredad.com/images/volvo.pdf

Even which magazines promotes rear facing - Child safety week 2011 - Car safety and child seats - Car safety - Which? Car

wasabi
 

fizl

Well-known Member
If you go to the volvo website and order their baby seat kit, it is a rear facing seat (9-25kg one), and if I remember rightly it is an expensive britax that if you buy it from a shop is much more expensive. Just need to check it fits the car of course
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
I've no idea about child seat but logic says to me that rear facing should be more protective in most crashes?
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Question.
If putting any child over 9kgs in a rear facing seat, where the hell are their legs supposed to go? People are talking about putting 4 year olds in rear facing seats? Do they not need to stretch their legs once in a while?

I saw someone outside my 3 year olds preschool the other week take her 2.5-3 year old son out of a rear facing seat, I assumed she just hadn't bothered buying him a bigger seat since birth or something, it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen with his legs all squashed up
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
DJT75 said:
Question.
If putting any child over 9kgs in a rear facing seat, where the hell are their legs supposed to go? People are talking about putting 4 year olds in rear facing seats? Do they not need to stretch their legs once in a while?

I saw someone outside my 3 year olds preschool the other week take her 2.5-3 year old son out of a rear facing seat, I assumed she just hadn't bothered buying him a bigger seat since birth or something, it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen with his legs all squashed up

Another type of impracticality that means I will ignore rear facing seats for toddlers/kids.
IMO, it doesn't mean I don't care about safety.
Perhaps there are crash gains to rear facing seats, but I feel the impracticalities overpower that argument.
 

Wasabi

Active Member
Question.
If putting any child over 9kgs in a rear facing seat, where the hell are their legs supposed to go? People are talking about putting 4 year olds in rear facing seats? Do they not need to stretch their legs once in a while?

I saw someone outside my 3 year olds preschool the other week take her 2.5-3 year old son out of a rear facing seat, I assumed she just hadn't bothered buying him a bigger seat since birth or something, it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen with his legs all squashed up

If you put the child seat in the front seat, there are more leg space available due to the dashboard is further away from the seat.

The Scandinavians are tall people, and having had this law for a few decades now, it hasn't harmed the physical growth. Of course, they use common sense (and the Swedes are famous for using common sense) and stop for breaks if driving long distances, but for short runs its not an issue at all. As I said, my nephews or my friends kids (I've asked the parents in the last few days) never complained about being rear facing.

Further, as I said, the law over there is up to 4 years old or if the height of the child is above the backrest whichever comes first, then they should sit forward facing.

Again, it may sound a nanny state, but with child deaths almost at 0, I can certainly live with the some of the non practical issues, and I wish it was law here.

Think back when everyone was against seatbelts, it hampers the movability, and makes it less practical when on the seat. Now you don't think twice about putting the seatbelt on.

wasabi
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Wasabi said:
If you put the child seat in the front seat, there are more leg space available due to the dashboard is further away from the seat.

Again, I struggle with your descriptions and explanations.
If a child is in a rear facing seat, then it doesn't matter whether they are in the front or the back, the problem we are talking about will be the same.
Their legs will be facing the backrest of the seat, with their feet touching the backrest.
So their legs must be bent/splayed.
Whereas if they face forwards, their legs dangle over the seat like adults do.
 
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stoomc

Well-known Member
Agree entirely with FZR.
I have a 4 month old and already his feet over hang the bottom of his car seat, so his legs are constantly bent when he is in the car in a rear-facing seat.
I can't wait till he is 19lb (I think, will check into this) so I can put him front facing.
Feel so sorry for him as well, he's a curious little bugger and he will love it facing forward and see everything.
The way I see it, we are in the UK and all the manufacturers and laws etc state that we can put a baby/ child forward facing when they reach 19lb (?) so that is the way I am going to do it.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Again, it may sound a nanny state, but with child deaths almost at 0, I can certainly live with the some of the non practical issues, and I wish it was law here.

What's your source of stats for Scandanavia and the UK?
 

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