There are many discussions about the pros and cons of extended rear facing, but for me personally the safety aspect far outweighs any of the superficial reasons for forward facing. Extended rear facing car seats are extremely popular across the pond in America, and are becoming more and more popular here in the UK.
Extended rear facing refers to children staying in a rear facing car seat position until at least 2 years of age, but car seats are increasingly catering to rear face until 4 years of age.
Studies are showing that remaining rear facing can be up to 5 times safer in an accident, that’s 500% safer! In an impact the seats are absorbing the majority of the force, and helping to distribute the impact better.
When forward facing any impact can send young children forward, putting strain on their necks and spine, like a whiplashinjury that we would sustain. But their delicate bones are not able to deal with this kind of force as well as we may be able too, often leading to incredibly serious injuries, sometimes even from the most minor incident.
But to rear face after the 1 year mark you need the right car seat to do this. As with all car seats height and weight limits still apply. It’s no use leaving them rear facing in an infant seat when their head is clearing the top of the seat, the intended use to protect them from impact wouldn’t work.
Having looked into the best seats for extended rear facing, and with even more available than ever before, we were really taken by the Diono Radian 5. Based on the best seller in America where extended rear facing is becoming the norm, its safety features are brilliant, and as a bonus it is also really stylish and extremely comfortable.
It’s not a cheap car seat, but you can’t really put a price on your child’s safety. Plus it’s made to last until they are approximately 7 years old. It is not solely a rear facing seat so can be used when your rear facing days are finally over. We’ll have to use it forward facing if we need to put it in the family van or it just wouldn’t fit without restricting the driving view!
We’ve only been using the car seat for a few weeks so a full review will follow once we’ve really put it through it’s paces.
Initially what I noticed was the weight! Because of it’s higher weight capacity it has a unique steel frame, not only providing incredible protection against crash forces but also meaning that it can be used up to 25kg. It means that the seat is really heavy, but it folds up to be able to carry it better. It even comes with a travel case.
Despite the heavy frame, the car seat is really narrow. Much narrower than the car seat we had before. It’s a lot more comfortable whe you have to sit next to it in the back of the car! They reckon you could even fit 3 comfortably in the back of some cars. Obviously we’ve not tested this theory out but I can certainly see that it could work.
The seat and interior is really nicely padded. As with the rest of the seat it’s not overly chunky but it has memory foam meaning that it is extra comfy. Perfect for all of our day trips and holidays that we’ve got planned this year!
G’s already given it a sleepy seal of approval a few times, and he loves the cup holder. So do I for that matter, no more mid trip scrambling for a dropped cup or bottle.
Have you, or would you consider extended rear facing? What are your thoughts?
Mrs H xxx