Rearward Facing Group 1 CCS. Advise use of rear facing child car seats for children under 4 years old
- Published: British Medical Journal (BMJ), 11 June 2009
- Authors: Elizabeth A Watson, and Michael J Monteiro
- Date Added: 03 Apr 2012
- Last Update: 23 Jul 2013
To explain why it is safer for young children to travel in a rear facing seat until they are 4 years old.
Many babies are switched from a rear facing car seat to a forward facing seat at 9 kg (8 months of age for a boy on the 50th centile)
The relatively large head mass and differences in the anatomy of the cervical spine in young children can lead to excessive stretching or even transection of the spinal cord if a child is involved in a frontal (head-on) crash while in a forward facing car seat.
Rear facing seats are safer than forward facing seats for children under 4 years old
Parents and guardians should be advised to keep young children in rear facing seats for as long as possible
In many countries it is a legal requirement that children under a certain height or age (1 m 35 cm or 12 years, in the United Kingdom) to use child restraints appropriate for their weight while travelling in a car. This significantly reduces morbidity and mortality.
Many babies are switched from a rear facing to forward facing seat at 9 kg (age 8 months for a boy on the 50th centile. However, evidence is mounting, however, that it is safer for young children to travel in a rear facing seat until 4 years of age.