How Most People are Wrong about Rear-Facing Car Seats

How Most People are Wrong about Rear-Facing Car Seats

May 28, 2019

In certain parts of the world, it's actually common practice to keep your child in a rear-facing seat until they are four years old. Surprisingly, however, this practice is not so common in some of the more developed western countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.

This fact is pretty troublesome when you consider the fact that car accidents are a leading cause of premature death of children aged between 1 and 14.

What's worse, the vast majority of people who do use rear-facing car seats abandon them too soon. Since most of them associate the transition to the next type of seats a milestone similar to the transition from crawling to walking, they tend to take their children out of these seats at the age of two.

But you have to face the facts: just because you think so, it doesn't mean that they are ready for the transition to the next seat, because…

These Seats Are More Comfortable Than They Look

Besides safety, comfort is probably the biggest concern when it comes to rear-facing seats for most parents. Let's face it: most of these seats are rather small and larger children look pretty uncomfortable sitting in them. But sometimes, things look way worse than they actually are.

For starters, even the taller children don't have long legs. Secondly, as long as your child proportions are within the recommended weight and height limits of the seat, they will be just fine. Keep in mind, children's joints are a lot more flexible than ours.

That means, your child probably won't feel too uncomfortable even if their legs are in an awkward position for 30 minutes or so. And as research has shown, contrary to popular belief, the extremities of your children aren't at a bigger risk of breaking when they are sitting facing backward.

Most Pediatricians Are Not CPST Certified

Possibly the biggest mistake people make is taking their child out of a rear-facing seat too early. Sometimes they do it because of their gut feeling and other times, they consult their friends before doing it. Some people even consult their pediatrician.

So if your pediatrician tells you it's the right time to place your kid in a front-facing seat, it's completely fine to do it, right? Well, not exactly. You see, in order to assess this, a pediatrician needs to have a CPST (Child Passenger Safety Technicians) certificate. And surprise, surprise, most of them aren't certified.

And don't get us wrong – chances are, your pediatrician does a great work with your child – but it's not likely that he's up-to-date on the latest child-safety research. And if he recommended that you take your child out of a rear-facing car seat before their second birthday, he's making a huge mistake.

Despite What Your Parents Say You Need This Seat

In the end, some parents – and their parents as well – think that there's no real need for these seats. You may be thinking: my parents didn't keep me in a rear-facing seat when I was young and I turned out just fine. Where's the problem?

Simply put, times changes, and with times, so did laws and regulations. As we mentioned numerous times throughout the article, tons of studies have shown that rear-facing seats reduce toddler and infant injuries and fatalities in car crashes.

Now, that doesn't mean that your parents have bad intentions when they tell you that you don't need a rear-facing seat for your child. Of course not. And just because they've been lucky with you it doesn't mean that you'll be. Accidents happen all the time and it's definitely better to be safe than sorry.

How To Make Sure Your Child is Safe and Comfortable

Get It Checked by a Technician

Installing a baby seat is definitely not that hard – but still – mistakes happen from time to time. and why not get the seat inspected by a professional before you put your kid in it? If you don't know any technicians, browse a bit online, and find a technician near you.

Pick the Safest Spot in the Car

Placement of the seat is also pretty important. Surprisingly, the best spot for a rear-facing seat is in the middle of the backseat. That's because there are fewer objects that can possibly hit the seat if you collide with another vehicle on the road.

Keep the Seat Straps Snug

When your child is along for the ride, you need to make sure that their straps are not loose. Again, although it may seem like it, a properly secured strap won't cause any pain to your kid. If you need any guidance for ensuring that the straps are properly adjusted, watch this video right here.

Make Sure Everyone's Buckled Up

Speaking of straps, remember that you and the rest of your family need to set a good example for the youngest member. Therefore, you need to make sure that everyone in the car is buckled up before you hit the road. This will motivate your toddler to follow suit and strap in before every ride.

The Bottom Line

Last but not least, if an accident happens you should replace your baby seat just in case. Even if your child wasn't in the seat and everything seems fine, the seat will still absorb some of the force of the crash. This is your child's life we're talking about here, so you shouldn't take any chances whatsoever.

We hope that you enjoyed our article and that you found it informative. If you by any chance you have a question for us, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

Written by Rachel Fink for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Also in Blog

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Nursery: The Role of Kelvin
Creating a Safe and Comfortable Nursery: The Role of Kelvin

April 16, 2024

Welcome to our guide on ensuring your baby's nursery is not just a haven of cuteness but also a bastion of safety and comfort. We understand that as parents, the well-being of your little ones is your top priority. That's why we're here to talk about an essential aspect of nursery care that might not always be on everyone's radar - maintaining the perfect nursery temperature and humidity with Kelvin, our color-changing nursery thermometer and hygrometer.

Read More

The Psychological Benefits of Color in Children's Sleep Training
The Psychological Benefits of Color in Children's Sleep Training

April 10, 2024

Understanding the profound impact of color on a child's psychological well-being and sleep quality is crucial for parents and guardians striving to create nurturing environments. At LittleHippo, we harness the power of color psychology in our products, such as Mella and Kelvin, to foster calming sleep environments that contribute positively to children's mood and overall sleep quality.

Read More

5 Tips for Helping Hard-of-Hearing Babies and Toddlers Catch Some Zzz’s
5 Tips for Helping Hard-of-Hearing Babies and Toddlers Catch Some Zzz’s

March 14, 2022

Sleep is great for your child’s mental and physical development— but it can be challenging to get a good night’s rest when your little one is living with a hearing condition. Research highlights that medical conditions are one of the top factors that disrupt the sleep quality of children. Unfortunately, this bounces back: poor sleep quality can further aggravate a child's condition, and continue the cycle.

This can be very concerning for parents who simply want the best for their child’s health and well-being. Here are a few tips for parents who want to help children with hearing impairments get a good night's sleep.

Read More