car seat faq's
Why is rear facing safer?
Rear facing is up to 5 times safer because it protects the child's fragile neck head and spine. The forces of a crash throw everything forwards towards the direction of travel and when forward facing, this includes throwing your child forwards into the harness straps, because the straps do not hold the head back, it allows the child's heavy head to be thrown forwards whilst the harness keeps their body back. This puts lots of pressure on the child's neck and spine which can lead to spinal damage or internal decapitation.
But what about in a rear-end crash?
Rear impacts are generally less severe and at much lower speeds than frontal or side impact crashes but thats not to say they aren't common. Rear facing protects the child's head and neck by absorbing some of the forces and distributing them more evenly across the child's body which reduces the risk for serious injuries.
If forward facing isn't safe, why are forward facing seats legal?
Like a lot of things in life, legal doesn't always equal the safest option. Whilst forward facing doesn't protect the child's head, neck or spine, a forward facing seat will still protect your child in a crash as opposed to not using a car seat at all. They still meet the legal requirements but rear facing is proven to be the safest.
When can my child turn forward facing?
We want to avoid forward facing with a 5 point harness to help reduce the risk of head, neck and spinal injuries therefor we would always recommend to rear face until the child is ready to move to a high back booster. This is at minimum 100cm 15kg and over 4.5 years old - thats why its important to check which percentile your child is following before purchasing a rear facing seat to ensure it lasts them to a safe booster age. Check out our guide to choosing a car seat here.