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Rear facing car seats are safer

Did you know that children are up to five times safer in a rear facing car seat?

UK parents often switch to forward facing seats when their child is around nine months old. But in Scandinavian countries parents keep their children in a rear facing seat until they are four or five years old.

Why rear facing is safer

If your child is facing forward and you are in a head-on crash, your child will be flung forward. The seat's harness will put stress on your child's neck, spine and internal organs which could cause serious injury.

In a rear facing seat, your child will be pushed into the back of the seat. The force of the impact will spread across the whole back of the seat, protecting their neck spine and internal organs.

If you're hit from behind (rear-ended) both vehicles are usually travelling in the same direction, so the force of the impact is much lower. The child will still be protected by the seat.

Rear facing seats are the safest choice for your child.

Your child's comfort

Your child's comfort is important. Here are answers to some of the concerns we hear about rear facing seats.

Children are just as happy rear facing as forward facing. They can look through the side and rear windows and they can chat and play with older brothers and sisters much better because they're face to face.

You can fit a mirror for a two way view between you and your child.

Your child isn't more likely to get travel sickness if they're rear facing. Motion sickness is caused by repeated movements like going over bumps, not the direction you're facing.

There have been no reported injuries to the legs of children in rear facing seats.

Moving your baby into a bigger seat

Very often parents move their young baby into a bigger forward facing seat because they believe the baby has outgrown the infant carrier.

Group 0+ car seats are designed to fit babies up to 13kg, when they're about 12-15 months.

It's very important that your baby stays in the Group 0+ infant carrier until they weigh 13kg, or the top of their head is level with the top edge of the seat.

Always use a seat until the maximum limit and don’t be tempted to turn a baby round at the minimum requirement for the next stage seat.

Get your child seat checked for free

And don't forget, we'll check your child's car seat for free. Email roadsafety@norfolk.gov.uk for more information.

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