Have you looked into rear facing car seats for your under fours?

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
Hi folks

I've never looked in this section before, and was admiring some of the photos when it struck me that most car seats in the pics were front facing.

Rear facing is something that is catching on more and more here in the UK following a lead from Scandinavia, which I think Volvo seems to be at the forefront of the research and crash testing. The latest and strictist kids car seat test criteria cannot be met by a front facing seat, the Swedish Plus test.

Our two year old has been rear facing from birth after us reading that his neck vertebrae won't be formed until he's four, and it seems that this Plus test is the only (?) one to actually measure forces in the neck in a crash test. And only a rear facing seat can pass this (for a frontal impact).

Seat prices are coming down, and a wider variety is now available than there was a year ago, especially now past the 18kg Isofix weight limit.

Just a heads up, not wishing to preach :)
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
California recently passed a new law requiring Rear Facing seats until 2 years of age. Personally, I find that to be insane. Both of our children were itching to be tuned around and become part of the social circle in the car far before they even turned 1. In addition, my 2 year old has her feet against the back of the passenger seat already. She would be far too tall for rear facing up to 4. I can't imagine that a rear facing seat would fit in most cars for children up to 4. They would have to be folded up like Swiss army knives. I'm all about protecting children, but part of that has to come down to parent and driver responsibility. There needs to be some reasonability built in to these considerations.

As it is, a high percentage of drivers in and around central Cali don't even use carseats or seatbelts at all!

And, as a curiousity, because I've never had to do it, what to people do to restrain children on public transport, trains, etc... I'm guessing nothing.
 

shirk

Member
We've got an almost 2 yr old and recently purchased a Clek Fllo for him.

The recommendations for it are rear facing until 40lbs then to front facing.

We plan to keep him rear facing till the 40lbs or as long as we can.

As a parent I feel I am taking the responsibility to keep our child as safe as possible if a crash were to happen. I could drive around well under the speed limit and be extremely safe and still get hit by someone/something well out of my control.

Regarding the public transit comment have you ever seen a video of the inside of a school bus crash? Kids violently tossed around.
 

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Hi guys, new to these boards, but this is near and dear to me. We've got two young ones that ride with us everywhere. One is just about 2 and the other is as of now 6 days old.

I'd absolutely agree that rear facing is the best option, if it is an option at all. Both our kids were born in the 99th percentile for height (22.5" and 23" long respectively) so already big kids. Our oldest daughter had her feet up on the headrest by the time she was about 1.5 yrs old. We decided to turn her around at that point.

Combine that with the near impossibility of having a rear facing seat behind my (the driver's) side due to the close quarters of the LJ, and rear facing is just about an impossibility. I'd love to see a rear seat that would accommodate smaller vehicles then a full on minivan, but we just haven't seen anything.
 

harbinger808

Adventurer
Aloha everyone,
Came across this thread and wanted to say that as much as rear facing is the "safest" for our monkeys, its just not possible. We originally had a 03 DC Tacoma with one Maxicosi Pria 70 seat for our son but soon realized that has he grew (95 percentile) his legs would soon be touching the seat back. Also, we found our that we were hapai (pregnant) with our second and decided to look at a new vehicle. Ended up with a 12' LR4 which was heaps larger inside... that is until we realized that our daughter (98 percentile for 3 months and now has been off the chart since) is coming to the same issue that our son had with her legs being too long and touching the seat back.
As much as we want to keep them rear facing... reality is that its just not possible. We have noticed that since they are both front facing, they enjoy driving so much more as they can see what mama and dada are seeing. I should add that one of the main reasons for choosing the LR4 was because as stated before by shirk, we can drive safe all day but it just takes someone else to crash into us and the LR4 is one damn heavy vehicle. I've seen what happens first hand when some slams into an LR4 and its not pretty for that vehicle.
 

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
Hiya

We have a Volvo XC70 with a rear facing Klippan Triofix Recline for our 95cm tall just over two year old son. He never has faced forwards so doesn't know if it's better or not, I imagine trying to rear face a child who has front faced for some time would be tricky to say the least :) This is supposed to be one of the more upright rear facers, so takes up less space than others. I didn't realise that he would possibly get to 18kg before he is four though, so we may have to buy another bigger rear facer until then when he can face forwards.

The seat has to be behind the passenger seat because of how far forward the front seat has to be to accommodate it. That means no big people can sit opposite the driver for long.

As the little dudes legs began to bend a little against the rear seat back we bought the spacer available for this seat, but when installed it means sitting in the front passenger becomes more squashed.

We also did have a Ford Tourneo camper conversion, this had Isofix on the second and third rows with loads of space for everyone but we didn't get on with it, now sold. Our current second vehicle has enough space for the seat with spacer, but even then he still has bent legs.

This seat in our Volvo is an "approved" match and fitting, so is presumably what the test is suggesting everyone should have, but a big four year old will have legs everywhere. If that's what that kid thinks is normal then maybe that will be ok, but it is a squash and nothing anyone older has dealt with to know. I've been told legs everywhere is fine at a young age.

But essentially, rear facing up until four years old in a normal car won't look comfy to an adult. And won't be possible in a lot of vehicles.

One plus point is with a range of child ages in the back if you have three, then one seat one way and two the other makes for more space to actually get the seats in.

And with a mirror on the rear seat head rest means they can still see the driver in the rear view mirror.
 
Hiya

We have a Volvo XC70 with a rear facing Klippan Triofix Recline for our 95cm tall just over two year old son. He never has faced forwards so doesn't know if it's better or not, I imagine trying to rear face a child who has front faced for some time would be tricky to say the least :) This is supposed to be one of the more upright rear facers, so takes up less space than others. I didn't realise that he would possibly get to 18kg before he is four though, so we may have to buy another bigger rear facer until then when he can face forwards.

The seat has to be behind the passenger seat because of how far forward the front seat has to be to accommodate it. That means no big people can sit opposite the driver for long.

As the little dudes legs began to bend a little against the rear seat back we bought the spacer available for this seat, but when installed it means sitting in the front passenger becomes more squashed.

We also did have a Ford Tourneo camper conversion, this had Isofix on the second and third rows with loads of space for everyone but we didn't get on with it, now sold. Our current second vehicle has enough space for the seat with spacer, but even then he still has bent legs.

This seat in our Volvo is an "approved" match and fitting, so is presumably what the test is suggesting everyone should have, but a big four year old will have legs everywhere. If that's what that kid thinks is normal then maybe that will be ok, but it is a squash and nothing anyone older has dealt with to know. I've been told legs everywhere is fine at a young age.

But essentially, rear facing up until four years old in a normal car won't look comfy to an adult. And won't be possible in a lot of vehicles.

One plus point is with a range of child ages in the back if you have three, then one seat one way and two the other makes for more space to actually get the seats in.

And with a mirror on the rear seat head rest means they can still see the driver in the rear view mirror.
Heh- my youngest is 2 weeks old and already 24" long. I can't fathom he'll make it to his second birthday before he has to turn around.
 

userg3

New member
So I thought Texas had passed the same law requiring children to be rear facing until age 2 but after researching it for this it looks like "parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to follow the new AAP Guidelines when transporting children." The AAP Guideline is rear facing until 2 or 35 lbs.

Regardless, we use two Chicco NextFits in our 2011 and 2008 Grand Cherokees. Our oldest is 25 months old and would probably love to be forward facing, her feet go up on to the head rest when she stretches out (97th percentile). When it came down to it though, we decided she stays rear facing until 40 lbs (the rear facing limit on the carseat) or she hits four years old. My unscientific justification was a broken leg from a car crash is better than a broken neck. Something simple to increase the safety margin, even if by just a fraction is ok by me, same amount of work to buckle them in rear facing vs front facing. My sister thinks I'm nuts, her three kids turned around at 12 months except for one who was a little before that.
 

CrazyDrei

Space Monkey
Interesting read and contributions. There was a European study a few years ago that recommended keeping kids rear facing until age 8. A little ridiculous. However when you look at the legislature and AAP recommendations, it's a two part recommendation: age and weight. What the study does not not address is the vehicle that the car seat is in and where in the vehicle the car seat is located, driver comfort and safety and the type of collision.

My wife's midsize sedan can only fit two infant seats or two forward facing toddler seats in the back without compromising driver safety. If I turn the toddler seats around, the drivers seat has to slide forward approximately 6-8" this puts the driver dangerously close to the airbag and creates an unsafe situation for the driver and front passenger.

Our 3/4 tone Suburban is now our kid mover/family vehicle. Infant is in the middle of middle row in rear facing infant seat and two toddlers (2 and 4 years old) are forward facing in the third row. In the third row of the Suburban, the toddles are positioned higher than the roof line of my wife's mid size sedan.

Car seat manufacturers have car seats for different weight kids. Some go upto 22 lbs, some to 30 lbs, some to 35 lbs, some heavier ones that you can not even lift up go to 45 lbs. Convertible seats, range from 35-60 lbs. So you can pic the child's age, weight or height to pick if you want to keep them forward facing or rear facing to support your decision.

Finally the type of collision, if it's driver error and it's a front end collision the child in a rear facing car seat will fare much better than a child in a forward facing car seat, in case of a rear end collision, the child in a forward facing car seat will fare better than in rear facing car seat.

I am not suggesting to ignore the recommendations or to follow them verbatim, but rather use your best parent judgement as to what is best for both the toddlers as well as adults.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Also denies eye contact to the child, even if it is in a rear view mirror.

And frankly, Scandinavia is not who I'd be looking to for policies on self-preservation and protection of life.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
How does rear facing do in hard rear end collisions?

Front end collisions in my truck, that's very unlikely. Rear ended? Very, very likely.
 

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
Also denies eye contact to the child, even if it is in a rear view mirror.
A mirror on the rear seat head rest (designed for that purpose) was for us within what a vehicles normal rear view mirror would see, so eye contact was not an issue. :)
 

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
A mirror on the rear seat head rest (designed for that purpose) was for us within what a vehicles normal rear view mirror would see, so eye contact was not an issue. :)
A rear backup camera zip tied to the headrest facing the child worked better for me than those mirrors. Cheap backup cameras are <$20 and give a much better view. I just disabled the IR LED's but you can probably get a camera without them.
 

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Though we travel full-time, our domicile is Texas. A 2017 post said there is no law in Texas regarding rear-facing, and this remains true. However, our goal was to rear-face until at least two, and longer if possible. Our son has always been tall, so by two years, he had to bend his legs. However, I knew to expect this.

We made the decision to flip him around when he was 2 years, 1 month old, before our two-month journey through the interior of Mexico. We had been having trouble with him getting car sick in mountain ranges. Because he was sitting backwards, he didn't have a frame of reference and we had several instances where he got sick on winding roads--starting when he was a year and a half old.

The Jeep Wrangler (we have a 2014 JKU) has a notoriously shallow back seat, so few car seats are really suitable for it. Following his Graco infant car seat, our son switched to the Diono Rainier. I *love* the Diono car seats for their heftiness and safety superiority. In a Jeep that's built like a tank, he has a car seat built like a tank. And for families with multiple kids in car seats, the Diono is preferred because it's skinnier. I have a friend who fit three Dionos in a back seat.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
Wow. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

Before retiring as a police officer, I received specialized child safety seat training. I have seldom encountered a subject in which lay people were less knowledgeable.

If you had seen the videos that I've seen, and/or been to the fatal traffic collisions that I've been to, you would understand that parents who love their children, should not be attempting to justify turning their children forward facing as soon as possible- they'd be keeping their children rear facing AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

Not as long as convenient, not as long as your spouse wants, not as long as the child appears to want to...AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

An equally important issue, is that in all of the child safety seat inspection clinics that I've participated in, I have NEVER seen a single child safety seat installed correctly. And even the smallest error, can render the child safety seat virtually useless. The child safety seat manual and the vehicle owner's manual are written in plain English- just READ them, instead of just guessing. Your child's life hangs in the balance...
 
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