Most people are aware of the infant car seats being rear facing, or facing backwards as some would say. This is the first car seat you buy when having a baby. But did you know that when it’s time to buy a new car seat for your baby – once they have outgrown their infant car seat (Group 0/0+) the safest car seat on the market for your baby – is an extended rear facing car seat?
What is an ‘Extended Rear Facing’ car seat?
An ‘extended rear facing car seat’ or ‘ERF seat’ as it usually goes by, is a car seat for toddlers and preschoolers that are – just like the infant car seat, facing backwards. Rear facing.
They are divided into these groups:
0+/1 (From birth to 18kg/40lbs) 0+/1/2 (From birth to 25kg /55lbs) Group 1 (From 9kg /20lbs -18kg/40lbs) Group 1 / 2 (From 9kg /20lbs -25kg/55lbs)
It was long believed that once the infant car seat was outgrown, the natural car seat to buy was a forward facing toddler car seat (Group 1). However for over 50 years, in Sweden, the natural way for children to travel has been rear facing. Why?
Because several studies through the years have proven that rear facing – is the safest way for all children under the age of 4-years-old to travel.
In the UK, the British Medical Journal released a statement in 2009 – stating that rear facing was the safest way to travel for all children under the age of 4 years old, this put to bed the notion that rear facing car seats were only beneficial to Swedish children.
No longer is this just a Swedish thing or a Scandinavian thing. In America now, several states have passed a law which prevents children under 2-years-old from travelling forward facing. Several American car seat manufacturers have also put a forward facing age limit on their car seats – to 2-years-old.
In 2011, The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement declaring that children needed to be kept rear facing to at least 2 years old, but also