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Extended rear facing?-can someone answer a few questions

Hi moms,
My kids are well past the age of car seats but I have seen this term around here a lot and I'm curious. So will you all answer a couple of questions for me?

1. basic definition-I assume it just means keeping the child rear facing longer than the 20lbs recommened. Correct?
2. Why? Safety? Any proof or studies on it?
3. How long?
4. Do your children protest or mind it?
Thank you.


Asked by teamquinn at 1:21 PM on Nov. 28, 2009 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (13)

    I rear faced until about 1 1/2 when I had several people help watch my daughter while I had to work some over time. It took forever to move the car seat from car to car and ensure it was done properly. So i switched to foward facing so everyone could install it without any concern of if they did it correctly. It's all about safety. even if rear facing, it's not that helpful if the seat or the child isn't properly buckled in.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:28 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • 1. correct
    2. safety, and yes there is proof, i think... good question, i will google it.
    3. i dont know
    4. they dont care
    5. your welcome

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:23 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • 1-yes
    3as long as my son can
    4-not sure yet... he's still too young :P

    Answer by Domsmom2009 at 1:23 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • 1. Yes, it means rear-facing longer than 1 year old -and- 20lbs. My son is 18 months old and 27lbs, he will be rear-faced until at least 2 yr old -and- 35lbs.
    2. Yes, safety reason. Most of the fatal car crashes are head-on. Head-on crashes also inflicts more impact. If a child is forward-facing, their neck can snap. Also, the spinal cord could stretch. Spinal/neck injuries are difficult to heal. Go to and search on extended rear facing and forward facing. There's tons of videos that shows how badly a forward-facing child is injuried. While rear collisions can be bad, they are usually a "bump" at slow speed. Also it pushes your car forward so it's not like the impact is as severe.
    3. How long will my child be rfing? Until 2 and 35lbs.
    4. Nope. He protested when he rode in his cousin's forward-facing car seat. He prefers to be rear-facing. :)

    Answer by ShadesofGrey at 1:27 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • does not provide statistical study, and most of those videos are misrepresented. Do not use youtube as a reference.

    What too many people don't take into consideration, is that there are also height limits on those rear-facing seats. I have two sons who are under the 35lb weight limit, but they are taller than the height limit. That is also something that HAS to be considered.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:32 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • extended rear facing and extended harnessing are both for the safety of the child. here is a link to a car seat safety website with more information on it.  

    My daughter also reached the height limit for her rear facing seat before she maxed out the weight limit - she was not quite 2 when I turned her around.  I plan on keeping my 11 month old son rear facing until he is either too tall or weighs too much (most likely too tall - he's long and lean) - We did get a different rear facing seat with him, though, and it accomodates taller kids than our previous seat, so hopefully he'll be a little older than his sister. 


    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 3:28 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • DD's 19m and 26-27lbs. She doesn't mind it. We'll stay rear facing until she is 35lbs which the car seat gives as the maximum weight for rear facing. Once she's up to 35lbs I'll look into getting a car harness, which is safer then a booster seat.

    It is much safer, I've read up on it quite a bit. There have been studies done.

    Answer by Blueliner at 3:46 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • blueliner-can you give the studies?

    Answer by teamquinn at 4:28 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • 1. the law says 1 year AND 20 lbs so anything past that is ERF in my book.
    2. I have seen several studies, but others already linked them and more for you so I won't repeat.
    3. Until the hit the height/weight limit of the best seat we could afford (for us that was 22 months with DS and 26 months with DD) and they hit the height limit first neither has actually hit the weight limit yet because we have tall skinny kids.
    4. Neither did and both actually complained a little when we first turned them around.

    Answer by aeneva at 4:40 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • I'm sure everyone will post the rest, so I'll address this.

    My 2.5 year old does not mind rf. She has never protested. And even if she did, I really wouldn't care. Sometimes she wants to run into the street to, but we make decisions based on safety, not how big a fit she has.

    Don't forget height considerations, as anon posted. My 2.5 year old is 27 pounds, but she will have to be turned around before 35 because she is tall. Please note - tall is not leg length. Her seated height, and where her head hits on the car seat is what matters. One inch below the top of the shell of the car seat (the hard part) is the tallest she can be. And before anyone asks, we have a True Fit, so yeah, we've got the big one. If we had a Roundabout, for example, she'd already have to ff. So, we buy car seats with rear facing in mind.

    Answer by apexmommy at 4:45 PM on Nov. 28, 2009