Why should children travel rear facing until min. 4 years old?
Children are especially vulnerable in the event of a car crash. Their heads are disproportionately heavy in relation to the rest of the body and the neck muscles are not yet fully developed. Frontal impact tests show that the strain on the neck is five times greater when the child is sitting forward facing compared to when sitting rear facing.
When sitting forward facing, the child’s body is pushed out of the seat. But as the child car seat’s internal harness holds the child’s upper body in place, the majority of the forces are placed on the child’s neck as the head is thrown forward with tremendous force. In addition, the child risks injury from hitting the front seats.
If the child is sitting in a rear facing child car seat, the seat shell will act as a protective shield and absorb the impact energy. The forces of the impact are spread over the whole large area of the child’s back, neck and head, thereby significantly less strain is put on the child’s neck.