Car seats are an essential piece of equipment for parents with young children. They ensure the safety and protection of infants and toddlers during car rides, and can even save lives in the event of an accident. However, when it comes to choosing the right car seat for your child, there are many options and recommendations to consider. One such recommendation is the use of rear-facing car seats until your child is two years old. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of rear-facing car seats for infants and toddlers.
Firstly, it is important to understand the anatomy of an infant or toddler. Their neck muscles are not yet fully developed, making them more vulnerable to injury in a car accident. Plunket NZ recommends the use of rear-facing car seats for infants and toddlers as they offer the best protection for their underdeveloped neck and spine. In a rear-facing car seat, the child’s head, neck, and spine are supported by the back of the car seat, reducing the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
Secondly, rear-facing car seats offer superior protection in the event of a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-facing car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers aged one to two years old. This is because in a rear-facing car seat, the impact of a collision is spread out across the back of the car seat, reducing the force on the child’s body.
Thirdly, rear-facing car seats provide better protection for the child’s head, neck, and spine in the event of a sudden stop or change in direction. This is because the car seat is designed to absorb the impact and distribute the force of the stop or change in direction, reducing the risk of injury to the child.
It is worth noting that while the NTA recommends the use of rear-facing car seats until your child is two years old, many car seat manufacturers now offer rear-facing car seats that can accommodate children up to 18kgs, or beyond two years old. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when choosing a car seat for your child.
The Nuna Rava and the Nuna Exec allows you to rear face your child until at least 2 years old or around 30kg (less than 125cm in height) always go by height and weight restrictions rather than age.
Under New Zealand law, all children under seven years of age must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. Children aged seven must be secured in a restraint if one is available in the vehicle.
The Nuna Exec allows you to use the seat in Booster seat mode right up to 54kg and 148cm in height. Making it the most cost effective for your family.
International best practice recommends the use of an appropriate child restraint (or booster seat) until your child reaches 148 cm tall or is 11 years old. Child restraint and medical professionals recommend that you keep your baby in a rear-facing restraint until as old as practicable, at least until they are 2 years of age. *Information collected from NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi
In conclusion, the benefits of rear-facing car seats until your child is two years old are clear. They provide superior protection for the child’s underdeveloped neck and spine, reduce the risk of fatal injury, and provide better protection in the event of a sudden stop or change in direction. As a parent, it is important to prioritise your child’s safety by following the recommendations of the NTA and using a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.