Around there world there are inconsistent approaches as to when an infant should be switched from a rear facing car seat to a forward facing seat.  In the United Kingdom, for example, government publications suggest a forward facing seat when the infant reaches 9kg (20 pounds) in weight.  For a boy in the 50th percentile, this would be around the age of 9 months.  Contrast this to other European countries, particularly in Scandinavia, where children remain in rear facing seats until 4 years of age.

Recently, some of the guidance and recommendations have begun to change and have had an impact.  The European Parliament now recommends using a rear facing child seat up to the age of three.  In the US, car seat guidelines were amended and now call for rear facing seats up to the age of 2 years instead of 12 months previoulsy.  Consumer movements have also gathered momentum, receivng media attention along the way, which further raises awareness about this important safety issue.

 

Why Rear Facing?

Rear facing car seats are much safer.  Some of the research suggests they are potentially up to 5 times safer in a frontal collision, providing superior protection and distribution of force at impact.

 

 

Where Can You Buy Rear Facing Cars Seats?

This is partly the problem.  Some British manufacturers decline to offer their highest safety rated products in the home market.  Instead, they opt for exporting to other countries where guidelines and legislature help to ensure there is higher levels of demand.

 Rear Facing Car Seat 1Credit: S Brook

What Can You Do? – Read-up & Spread The Word

If you didn’t already know about this issue, hopefully now you do.  Please take a look at the video and share it with those you know.  Gradually, guidelines from trusted organisations and bodies are improving the situation but more consumer and general awareness is needed.  In time, hopefully legislation will change for the better but meanwhile as consumers we need to take action where possible and spread the word.  Manufacturers will then take note, not just concerning the British market but others too, and will then start making these products more widely available.  Ultimately of course, this will save lives.