The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Extended Rear Facing Car Seats

Extended Rear Facing Car Seats

An extended rear facing child car seat, is a seat which allows a child to travel rear facing for longer, usually up to 4 years of age. These seats have been used in Sweden since the 1960's, and over the past few years, they have become increasingly popular in the UK due to their excellent safety offering.

ISOFIX, or seat belt fitted?

Extended rear facing car seats are available with ISOFIX, and there are also seat belt options available. ISOFIX extended rear facing car seats have an 18kg weight limit (iSize seats may differ), and some belt fitted rear facing seats have an 18kg weight limit. There are also many seat belt fitted seats which have a 25kg weight limit.

The group stages available to rear face:

Group 0+1 – 0-18kg
Group 1 – 9-18kg
Group 1,2 – 9-25kg

Combination, or rear facing only?

Some extended rear facing seats will allow the option of putting your child rear or forward facing, where others can only be fitted rear facing.

Testing

Extended rear facing car seats are currently tested to R44.04. ManyiSize child car seats which are approved to R129 will offer longer rear facing, up to approximately 4 years old (105cm). Some rear facing only car seats may also have passed the Swedish Plus Test.

Additional fitment

Leg Room

One of the most common questions asked about keeping children rear facing is "Where will their legs go?" While children are very flexible and comfortable in a rear facing seat, it can look quite odd to adults. There are seats available which have extended leg room options, which is usually achieved by adjusting where the seat is fitted on the vehicle seat.

Three rear-facing children
If children feel the need to stretch out their legs, they can stretch them up the back of the vehicle seat.

What is the best extended rear facing seat to buy?

What is the best seat for you, will depend on your vehicle, your child and your family situation. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Method of fitment – There is no safety difference between a properly fitted belted seat, and ISOFIX seat, however ISOFIX is considered safer as it reduces the risk of incorrect fitment. Belt fitted extended rear facing seats can be more difficult to fit.
    With any method of fitment you choose, be sure to seek professional advice and fitting help, read the manual and practice fitting the seat so you are confident with it.
  • Combination or rear facing only – Do you want to have the option of using the seat forward facing 'just in case', or are you 100% sure that your little one will be rear facing up until the limit of the seat? Take this into account when choosing your seat, if you aren't completely sure you will be rear facing until 4, you may want to opt for a combination seat. Similarly, if you know you definitely will be rear facing to the limit, you may want to consider a rear facing only seat, as these can often be cheaper!
  • Additional fitment – Almost all extended rear facing car seats are classed as semi-universal, and they will have a vehicle compatibility list available online. Before you buy your seat, check that every car the seat will be used in is on the compatibility list.
  • Is your child tall or heavy for their age? – Child seats with an 18kg limit will accommodate most children to around age 4. If your child is likely to reach 18kg long before their 4th birthday, a seat with a 25kg harness limit will give you better longevity.  You may also want to consider a 25kg harness limit seat if you wish to rear face beyond 4 years of age.
  • Where to buy – extended rear facing car seats are becoming increasingly available in major retail stores. However, you are more likely to find them in your local independent nursery retail shop.  Phone up local stores to see what they have in stock, and if they are trained to show you how to safely fit the seat.

Child car seat features

Group Stages 2014-01Buying a new car seat can be very confusing, it can be difficult to figure out which stage seat your child needs, particularly when there may be several suitable stages to choose from.  Not only that, but you also have to make sure the seat fits the cars it will be used in, as well as your child. Once you have figured out what stage seat you require, the choice can still be confusing, with large differences in price and different child car seat features. This blog looks at those features of a car seat, what they do and why they’re useful.   Child car seat features   Seat belt or ISOFIX Child seats can come as either belt fitted, or ISOFIX – sometimes they have both options!  While both ISOFIX and seat belt fitment is safe when the seat is correctly fitted, ISOFIX is considered easier to fit and it red......
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Britax State of Safety Q&A

KatOur very own Good Egg Safety Expert, Kat, took over the Britax Twitter page last night to hold a Q&A. She received some great questions and you can find the answers below! Q: I’d love to know the laws on taxis and car seats. Kat: Under 3's - no seat required no seat belt. Over 3's - no seat, adult seat belt. Children should be in rear. We would prefer to see seats used whenever possible though!   Q: Hi Kat, when is the law coming in for rear facing longer? Kat: iSize came into effect in July 2013, it's part of R129 and will be fully implemented by 2018. R44 seats are still legal to use.   Q: When Picking A Car Seat, Especially One That Will Go Behind The Driver What Is The Best Kind Of Seat To Go For? Kat: It really depends on your child's weight and h......
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Do child car seats expire?

Both of these car seats carry R44.03 approval labels!The question of 'do child car seats expire' can be a confusing matter. There are many differing timescales given, and car seats in the UK do not come with a stamped expiry date.  It is not always clear when a car seat becomes unsafe to use, and there are car seats on the market designed to last 11 years.   Crash test expiry Child car seats in the UK are tested to regulation 44, of which there have been several amendments.  These are shown as R44.01, R44.02, R44.03 and R44.04.  Child car seats may alternatively be tested to the new car seat regulation R129 (iSize).  Car seats tested to R44.01 or R44.02, are now illegal to sell and use, and car seats which have been tested to R44.03 are likely to be quite old. R44.03 was introduced in 1995, so seats carrying this approval could be up to 20 years old!......
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The importance of getting your car seat checked

Car seats under £100Good Egg Safety car seat checking events   Good Egg Safety is the leading organisation for in car child safety, and we have checked over 20,500 car seats since 2002.  The child seat events are designed to give parents somewhere to go to have their child’s car seat checked, so they can make sure they are sitting safely. Over the years the rate of incorrect fitment has risen however, and over the last 5 years the rate of incorrect fitment has increased by 43%.  The 5 year average for car seats being incorrectly fitted, based on over 12,000 checks, now stands at 57%. The amount of incorrectly fitted seats last year was 64% in Scotland, and 71% in England and Wales.  Our research suggests there are a vast majority of seats being bought online, where a parent receives little advice on choosing the right seat, and no help with fitting safely.  Other issues c......
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Law exception - Short journeys

11002964_10152766046874422_1294009864_o"It is OK for your child to not use a car seat on short journeys" - FACT or MYTH?   MYTH!   This is perhaps one of the most commonly misunderstood exceptions to the law, and the one most often misused.   What does The Law say? The law states that a child over the age of 3 may travel without a child restraint, on short journeys of unexpected necessity.  The child must use the adult seat belt.   What is unexpected necessity?   An essential trip that you had no prior notice of.   When the child may be at risk, if they do not travel.   Emergency, unplanned trips to A&E/Doctors/Out of Hours Surgeries where no car seat is available.   What sort of journeys are not acceptable uses of this exception?   Catching a lift with a friend/relative to save walking.   A pre-planned appointment.   Trips that could......
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Group 1,2 rear facing car seats

Extended rear facing BeSafe iZi Plus, which has a 0 - 25kg weight limit, approx 6 months to 6 years.  What is a group 1, 2 extended rear facing car seat? A group 1, 2 car seat is a combination group seat which can accommodate a child from 9kg through to 25kg.  They are called extended rear facing as they typically keep children rear facing to 25kg, around 6 years old.  This stage seat can be used after the group 0+ infant seat has been outgrown, it is an alternative option to forward facing group 1 car seats. The seat is normally outgrown when the child’s eyes are level with the top of the car seat, although it is important to check the manual for the seat.   Extended rear facing BeSafe iZi Plus, which has a 0 - 25kg weight limit, approx 6 months to 6 years. Why would you keep a child rear facing after the infant seat? Traditionally, children in the UK are moved up to a f......
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Second hand child seats - Tips for buying

Tip1Welcome to the next installment in our second hand child seat series!  This post is looking at how we can use second hand seats as safely as possible. Whenever possible, your child's car seat should be purchased as a new product, from a retail store who are able to give you good advice. In purchasing from a retailer and taking advice, you can be sure the seat you buy is suitable for your child, compatible with your car and you will be shown how to fit the seat.  You will also know that your seat is brand new, and can be confident that the seat will do its job should you be involved in a collision. Sometimes though, financial hardship can leave no choice but to buy a second hand seat, or a family member or close friend offers you a seat that you know is in perfect condition.  In this......
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Second hand child seats - the dangers...

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