A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

Guest Post: Rear Facing Car Seats #NationalRoadSafetyWeek

on November 21, 2012

This week is National Road Safety Week (19th – 25th November 2012). You will have seen my recent post Sitting Comfortably and Safely, in which I discussed the reasons for choosing my Britax child car seats. In this post I mentioned that there is also a strong argument for rear facing car seats, but that this was probably best reserved for a whole post in itself as there is so much information to look at.

Well, one of my avid blog readers and friends, Mrs P carried out a huge amount of research into rear facing child car seats and actually purchased one for her daughter so I asked if she would be interested in  writing a guest post for me on the subject (she is also thinking about setting up her own blog so I thought it would give her a great opportunity to have a go at her own post… so without further ado… I hand over to the lovely Mrs P… Please do take the time to drop Mrs P a comment below and let her know your thoughts (and to encourage her to join the lovely world of parent bloggers!)

As this week is National Road Safety Week, my good friend here at A Mummy’s View Blog has asked me to write a blog on why I chose to purchase a group 1 Rear Facing car seat for my daughter when she out grew the group 0 car seat.

Like all parents, When the time came to purchase the next stage car seat for my daughter In 2011 I wanted to get a seat that provided my child  with the best possible protection against injury. So my research began. At first I was only considering the “standard” forward facing seats from all the big manufactures such as Britax, Maxi Cosi and Cosatto. I read plenty of reviews and even subscribed to Which? It was during my search and while asking friends opinions on Facebook that I was told about rear facing seats for 9 months to 4 years old.

I was sent a link for a campaign called Joel’s Journey in America for rear facing seats to become a safety requirement for children aged 4 years and under. This was being publicised by friends and family of a little boy called Joel, who at 18 months old suffered serious neck and other injuries in a head on collision. He was in a forward facing seat, secured in the back seats.

Like many other parents I was shocked to read that the seat which we all assume will protect our children from injury was in this case a contributing factor to his injuries. The family were at the time campaigning for rear facing car seats to become a requirement and they have since been successful in changing American laws to now have children in rear facing seats until the age of 2 year old.

I did a lot of research after reading Joel’s story, this included scouring the internet, viewing crash test videos, and reading coroner reports of road traffic accidents, where either forward facing, rear facing or no seat at all were used. It was all very grim reading /viewing.

During my research (for which web links can be found in the below reference section) I found the following facts:

  • The most fatal type of car accident is a head on collision
  • During these types of collision, in a forward facing seat the child is significantly more likely to suffer head, neck or spinal injuries
  • An infant/toddlers head is approximately 25% of the child’s overall body weight and the movement of the head during collision is what can cause neck and spinal injuries
  • Your child is 5 times safer in a rear facing seat
  • Most children in Nordic countries are rear facing until 4yrs
  • The British Medical Journal recommends all children under 4yrs stay rear facing
  • The European Parliament has called for all children stay rear facing until 3yrs old

There are arguments against rear facing seats however:

  • The seats are more expensive than forward facing seats
  • They can be difficult to install correctly
  • They are difficult to source in the UK
  • My child gets bored when rear facing

But after all my research I could not bring myself to buy anything but a rear facing seat. We opted for a BeSafe Izi, which is on the Euro NCAP Top Picks List and recommended until the child is 4 years old.

We travelled to the only supplier and accredited installer in the our area at the time to purchase the seat and have proper instruction on its fitting. And as a result I feel I have made the best decision where my child’s safety is concerned.

Purchasing the next stage car seats is one of the big decisions you’ll make in relation to your child’s safety be it forward or rear facing the important thing is that you do your homework and are happy with your choice and are confident in the correct fitting of the seat to your car.

References: 

http://www.rearfacing.co.uk/index.php

http://www.joelsjourney.org/RFinformation.html

http://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b1994

http://rearfacing.motors.co.uk/

http://www.which.co.uk/baby-and-child/baby-transport/guides/how-to-fit-a-child-car-seat/rear-facing-child-car-seats/

http://www.besafechildcarseat.co.uk/Products/Toddlers-car-seat-0-18-kg/iZi-Combi-X3

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