What is safest Rear Facing or Forward facing
Your baby is always safest in a rear facing car seat; for as long as your child fits in a rear facing child restraint / baby capsule. However there are practical limits to keeping a child rear facing such as the height markers. The height marker to turn a child around indicates the minimum torso length; the child to turn around a rear facing car seat to forward facing. The height markers must have measured at the shoulders.
Child Restraint standards
Right now there are a number of different child restraints out there, which comply to differing standards, the 2004 standards uses a weight and age based system, the 2010 standards which uses height markers and the new 2013 standard which introduced the G type seat and isofix. Regardless of whether your child restraint is compliant to the 2004 or 2010 standard; the most important point for your child is are they comfortable and not squashed into the restraint, does the child fit into the inbuilt harness
Legal Age for Rear Facing car seat
From 6 months of age; childcen can be turned around; from rear facing position to forward facing; however the generally agreed minimum is that the child should stay rear facing until they reach at least the first height marker, with many experts recommending that you do rot move your child to forward facing until they pass the upper should height markers
When your child is in a 2004 standard child restraint (weight and age based standard); there are no height markers and as the sign your child has outgrown the restraint is when their shoulders have passed the upper harness slot for rear facing use.
Types of Rear Facing child restraints
Should you have a baby capsule; it is recommended to move to a convertible child restraint in rear facing mode. There are a number of different rear facing child restraints, these are indicated by their child restraint Type.
A rear facing car seat can be
- Type A1 = small capsule for 6-9 months, eg maxi cosi mico ap
- A2 for children up to 12 months old and
- A4 for children up to 30 months