What are reboard car seats? Why are they safer than forward-facing car seats for children? What should you be looking for when buying a reboard car seat? We have gathered the most important information about reboarders and forward-facing car seats for you in this article.
Reboard Car Seats – Travel safely facing backwards
Reboard car seats are installed against the direction of travel inside the car and are used after your child has grown out of their baby car seat. What is the maximum age and weight for using rear-facing car seats? As long as children travel in a baby car seat, the direction is clear: backwards! They fit in them up to an age of one year and a maximum weight of 13 kg. But what is next? In Europe, people commonly use a forward-facing car seat once the child can sit unaided. However, toddlers are not able to hold up their heads independently in the event of an accident.
During the first years of life, a child’s neck is not able to bear the force of a front impact. In a forward-facing car seat, the strain put on the neck is 5 times higher than in a reboarder. In Sweden, children are commonly transported facing backwards until they are 3 or 4 years old resulting in 0 deaths in car accidents for children up to 4 years of age. Independent studies conducted by Volvo and Folksam have found that children aged 4 years or less have a chance of surviving and/or preventing severe injuries that is 5 times higher than when travelling facing forwards (Volvo Report Safety, Gerd Carlsson and Hans Norin, Lars Ysander, 1989/Protection of Children in Cars, Lotta Jakobs, Thomas Broberg, Karin Andrè, 2013. Folksam, Press Release 2008).
Therefore, European transport safety councils recommend using a backward-facing car seat until your child is 4 years old. Many manufacturers produce reboard car seats for children weighing up to 25 kg.
Where to put the child’s legs
Your child’s legs do not dangle downwards like when using a forward-facing car seat, but point towards the back seat of the car or are bent. This might not look very comfortable to you, but it is fine for your little one.
What to look for when buying a reboard car seat
Choose a car seat that has been tested and approved by independent accredited test institutes. Among the most important European institutions are the German consumer foundation Stiftung Warentest, the German automobile club ADAC and the International Consumer Research & Testing (ICRT).
In the European Union, car seats for children must use a system approved by the standards of UN-ECE Regulation 44/04, directive 77/541/EEC or any adaption. In 2013, the EU introduced a new regulation called “i-Size”.
The safety regulation is for car seats for children under 15 months providing that children should travel facing rearwards up to this age instead of 9 to 12 months.
Before buying a car seat, check if your car seat provides enough space for a rearward-facing car seat. If you want to use a reboard car seat on the passenger seat, make sure that the airbag is deactivated. Reboard car seats should also feature a safety bar or spacer that provides your child with more legroom and that protects them in the event of rear collisions.
European brand manufacturers of reboard car seats include: HTS BeSafe, Concord, Hauck, Recaro, Britax-Roemer and Maxi-Cosi.
Reboard car seats from these manufacturers and many more top-quality products made in Europe are available at pinkorblue.com – Europe’s number 1 online baby retailer.