Should parents be encouraged to keep their children in rear-facing car seats for longer? Yes, according to a campaign launched by motors.co.uk, which suggests that rear-facing car seats are “up to five times safer” than the more popular forward-facing versions.
Car seats in the UK
In the UK, babies aged up to 18 months or weighing less than 13kg use group 0 and 0+ car seats, but most of the larger seats on the market are forward-facing.
Many large retailers do not stock rear-facing seats for older children, so parents have to go out of their way to find them, if they know about the safety implications.
But for parents of children weighing between 9 and 18 kg (about 9 months – four years of age) in theory have a choice of either a forward OR a rear-facing child seat in the next â€˜Group 1 category. This is different from the law in the US and the Nordic countries, which stipulate that children must stay in rear-facing car seats until they are at least four years of age.
However, the reality is that parents wanting to move up to using such a rear facing child seat in the next category simply can’t find any to buy in this country.
Many parents, understandably, feel that they should choose what’s available in store or online, and if their trusty baby supplies store stocks a seat it that’s forward facing they’ll often buy just that.
This is supported by research carried out by Motors.co.uk, which found that. 52% of would buy a rear-facing car seat for their child if they were more widely available in the UK. And parents (43% of those surveyed) are calling for the UK government to officially advise parents to keep their child in a rear-facing seat until the age of four.
We all know what a slow-moving the government can be when it comes to getting legislation changed, which is why Motherswhowork.co.uk is helping to push the details of this campaign out to mums, to help keep our children safe.