There is so much to learn and wrap our heads around as new parents. We hope this post will help you figure out what, why, and for how long your kids should be rear-facing in their car seat!
It is recommended that your child stays in rear-facing mode until they grow out of the height or weight limits on their car seat. In the event of a collision, a rear-facing seat gives the best possible protection for your young child's most fragile parts - their head, neck and spine.
Consider that a baby's head is approximately 25% of their body weight, where as an adult's head is approximately 5% of their body weight. That weight distribution ratio coupled with the fact that their vertebra have yet to fuse into strong protective bone for their spinal cord (this isn't until around age 8), can be a recipe for injury if they do not have adequate support. When they are rear-facing, the position and the car seat protects their head and spine from excess movement resulting in a lower risk of injury.
Extended rear-facing is considered best practice.
In a Clek Foonf or Fllo, your child can ride rear-facing until they are 40 lbs. or 43" tall. An industry leader in safety, Clek allows your child to stay rear-facing longer then many other seats on the market. Many can be rear-facing until 4 or 5 years old!
This may seem like a long time, especially if your child is small for their age. You may feel pressure from other people to switch them around. You may be worried they are uncomfortable because they have long legs. But the fact is the longer your child can be rear-facing, the safer they will be in a collision because the risk for injury is greatly reduced by the physics of the position.
The next most important piece is making sure you've got the straps fitting like a glove. Clek Inc. put together this awesome photo series to help you make sure you've got the harness adjusted just right for your child when they are rear-facing.
Safe travels and bon voyage!
For more information, check out the following resources:
Rear-Facing Infant or Child Seat by SEATS for Kids
Rear-Facing Checklist by Clek Inc.
Car Seat Law vs. Best Practice by Clek Inc.