Updated: Apr 2
As a parent, one of the most important decisions you'll make is how to keep your child safe while riding in a car. Car seat safety guidelines can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the maximum weight for rear-facing car seats. In this article, we'll explain what the max weight for rear-facing car seats is, why it's important, and how to choose the right car seat for your child's needs.
Understanding Rear-Facing Car Seats
Rear-facing car seats are designed to protect your child in the event of a car accident. They're recommended for infants and young children because they provide the best protection for their developing bodies. In a rear-facing car seat, the child's head, neck, and spine are all supported, which helps to reduce the risk of severe life-threatening injuries in the event of a road traffic collision.
What is the Max Weight for Rear Facing?
The max weight for rear-facing car seats varies depending on the car seat manufacturer and model of the seat. In general, most extended rear-facing car seats can accommodate children up to 18kg, which can often be found on the high street shops. However, some car seats have higher weight limits, with some models accommodating children up to 25-36kg/125cm.
Why is the Max Weight for Rear Facing Important?
The max weight for rear-facing car seats is important because it's directly related to the safety of your child. Once a child exceeds the height and or weight limit for a rear-facing car seat, they should be transitioned to a forward-facing high back booster car seat. This is because the rear facing seats will have only been tested with dummy’s that reflect the height and weight limits set for each seat. Therefore there is no way of knowing how a seat would perform in the event of a road traffic collision if the seat was used beyond its stated height and weight limits.
Choosing the Right Car Seat for Your Child
When choosing a car seat for your child, it's important to consider their weight and height, as well as the car seat's weight and height limits. You should also make sure the car seat fits properly in your vehicle and can be installed correctly. This is where our consultations can come in very handy. Having the opportunity to see and try the seats in your vehicle, before you purchase can help make sure you’re choosing the right seat for your child and your vehicle.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to the weight limit for rear-facing car seats, there are other factors to consider when choosing a car seat for your child. These include the type of car seat (infant carriers, extended rear facing, or high back booster), the ease of installation, the quality of the harness and straps, and the overall safety rating of the car seat. For optimum safety when choosing an extended rear facing car seat, look for the Swedish Plus Test certification. Also familiarise yourself with the seats ADAC scores.
Common Myths About Car Seat Safety
There are many myths surrounding car seat safety, and it's important to separate fact from fiction. Some common myths include:
It's safe to turn your child forward-facing once they reach one year old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until at least two years old, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Of course myself and other independent extended rear facing specialists would always recommend using a rear facing car seat until at the very least the age of 4.5/5 years old.
It's safe to use a secondhand car seat. While using a secondhand car seat may be cost-effective, it's not always safe. Car seats can expire, and a secondhand car seat may have been in a crash or otherwise damaged.
Myth #3: It's safe to put your child in a car seat with a thick winter coat. Bulky clothing can interfere with the proper fit of the car seat harness, which can increase the risk of injury in a crash. Instead, dress your child in thin indoor clothing and use a blanket over the snugly fitted and tightened car seat harness.
Understanding the max weight for rear-facing car seats is an important part of keeping your child safe while riding in a car. When choosing a car seat for your child, it's important to consider their weight and height, as well as the car seat's weight and height limits.
Children will always find a cosy position for their legs when rear facing. They’re very bendy and will often cross their legs, put their legs up the back rest, hang them over the sides or simply bend at the knee. Just as they would when sitting on the sofa reading or watching television comfortably.