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Car Seat Safety Pt. 3: Rear-Facing Car Seats

The third part in this series will be on Rear-facing Car Seats. According to healthychildren.org, the AAP recommends that all infants and toddlers use a rear-facing car seat from the first time they are in a car as an infant until they are two years of age, or until they reach the maximum height and weight allowed by a car seat.

Types Of Rear-Facing Car Seats

Rear-Facing Only Seats

  • Are for infants until they reach 22 to 45 pounds, though models may vary.
  • They can come as part of a stroller system and usually have carry handles.
  • They are accompanied by a base that can be left in a vehicle. The car seat attaches and detaches from the base for installment ease. Additional bases can be purchased if parents have more than one vehicle.
  • Should only be utilized for the purpose of travel.

Convertible Seats

  • Can be used as rear-facing and then converted into forward-facing once they outgrow the maximums of rear-facing car seats. They are bulkier than normal rear-facing car seats, and they do not have a carrying handle, but they can be used for a longer period of time.
  • Normally have higher maximum weight and height, which can be beneficial for larger infants and toddlers.
  • Have a harness that secure at the shoulders, hips, and between the legs.
  • Should only be utilized for the purpose of travel.

3-in-1 Seats

  • Can operate as a rear-facing, forward-facing, or as a booster for seat-belt positioning.
  • Can be larger than other car seats, so parents should ensure they fit for when being used as rear-facing.
  • May have higher maximum height and weight requirements than other car seats, but lack a carrying handle and separate base.

Installation Tips For Rear Facing Seats


Information provided by healthychildren.org.

  • Ensure harness is in the correct positions and that it is snug.
  • Ensure the car seat is firmly attached via LATCH system of seat belt.
  • If a vehicle has air bags in the front seat, then a rear-facing car seat should not be placed in it.
  • Ensure the seat belt, or LATCH system, are routed correctly and that the car seat is at the right angle.

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