Rear-Facing Car Seat Buying Guide

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Rear-Facing Car Seat Buying Guide

When riding in a car, a child must be properly restrained in a car seat. The type of car seat depends on the weight and age of the child riding in the seat. Rear-facing car seats are primarily used for securing infants and toddlers. There are different types of rear-facing car seats, and it is important to understand the basic specifications of each type of car seat before purchasing one. There are also safety standards to consider. Therefore, safety, weight, and age requirements are the most important considerations when examining the different types of car seats.

Once the buyer has selected a rear-facing car seat that meets these essential requirements, the buyer then needs to determine the car seat dimensions to ensure that the car seat fits into the their car. Other factors to consider include colour, fabric design, and additional accessories. eBay offers a wide selection of rear-facing car seats for any child, car, and budget. Searching for rear-facing car seats on eBay is easy once the buyer understands the basic steps in the search process.

Car Seats and Safety Regulations

The first child car seat was invented not to protect a child in the event of a car crash, but to prevent the child from falling out of a car. In 1962, Jean Ames of Britain designed the first rear-facing car seat. He believed that the rear-facing position was better at absorbing the impact forces of a car crash. Ames also designed a harness attached to the seat that securely fastened the child's shoulders and legs into the car seat. This new innovation was not widely received at the time, and many families viewed the car seat as an expensive and unnecessary purchase.

In September 2006, the United Kingdom passed a law that all children, up until the age of 12, or 135 cm in height, be properly restrained in a car seat. This law is based upon the child's weight and age. The driver of a car is legally responsible for ensuring that all of the children riding within the car are appropriately restrained using the correct types of car seats. Failure to comply with this law can result in hefty fines, civil charges, or insurance penalties for the driver.

Car Seat Regulations

Since the September 2006 law was enacted, there has been a significant decrease in the number of children killed in car accidents. Another important measure passed by the UN raises the safety standards for car eats. This measure is referred to as United Nations ECE Regulation 44-03 or Regulation 44-04. All car seats must now carry a label with with an 'E 44.03' or 'E 44.04', indicating compliance with these regulations. To meet these regulations, car seats must pass strict manufacturing requirements with respect to car seat design and manufacturing. The regulation also requires that each type of car seat undergo rigorous safety testing before being taken to market.

Isofix Car Seat Installation Safety System

Isofix is a car seat installation safety system installed in all new cars manufactured since November 2012. Car manufacturers are now required to equip new cars with Isofix connectors compatible with Isofix car seats.

Types of Rear-Facing Car Seats

The different types of car seats are classified in stages, which are then divided into groups, based upon weight and age. Some car seats, such as convertible car seats, can be classified in more than one group or stage.

Stage and Group

Configurations

Weight Limitations

Age Limitations

Stage One, Group 0 and 0+

Rear-facing

Up to 13 kg

Birth to 15 months

Stage Two, Group 1

Forward-facing

9 to 18 kg

9 months to 4 years old

Stage Three, Group 2

Booster Seat

15 to 25 kg

4 to 6 years old

Stage Four, Group 3

Booster Cushion

33 to 36 kg

6 to 11 years old

There are several different types of rear-facing car seats. They include rear-facing car seats for infants, toddlers, and younger children, and convertible car seats. The different types of seats vary according to the weight and age of the child. They can also be classified within more than one stage or group.

Rear-Facing Car Seats for Infants

These car seats are rear-facing in either the front seat or rear seat of a car. They cannot be positioned in a front seat with a working airbag, although they may be used with seats with side airbags. Most rear-facing, infant car seats have a multi-position handle at the top of the car seat, making it easier to carry the car seat. They also include extra head and neck supports to cradle an infant's head, and either a three-point or five-point, adjustable, locking harness to secure the infant into the car seat. These car seats are smaller and lighter than the other rear-facing car seats.

A rear-facing car seat for an infant is specially manufactured to protect and support an infant's neck, head, and spine during a car crash. When the infant is secured in a rear-facing position, the back of the car seat absorbs the impact of the car crash, rather than transferring the forces from the crash through the infant's neck, head, and spine. This prevents the child's head from being propelled forward, so minimising serious injuries.

Rear-facing, infant car seats are widely available in the United Kingdom. Once the infant or young toddler has exceeded the weight limit for a rear-facing, infant car seat, and the child's head is higher than the top of the car seat, the child graduates to a forward-facing car seat. However, this is only if a rear-facing car seat with a higher weight and age limit is not available. Experts recommend that a parent should keep their child in the rear-facing car seat until the child meets the rear-facing seat's weight and height limitations.

Rear-Facing Car Seats for Toddlers and Older Children

Rear-facing car seats for toddlers and older children are not widely available in the United Kingdom. Because of the higher weight and age requirement, the rear-facing car seats for older children are classified under Group 1 or Group 2. In the United Kingdom, children with special physical needs account for the largest share of the market for rear-facing car seats for older children. These car seats are also larger and more expensive than other types of car seats. It is important to determine the car seat's dimensions before purchasing this type of car seat. This is to ensure that the seat fits into the buyer's car. This type of car seat is widely available in other countries, where the car seat laws differ with respect to weight and age limitations.

When riding in a car, the British Medical Journal recommends that all children up to 18 kg and four years of age continue to use a rear-facing car seat. These recommendations are not currently enforced. Therefore, it is difficult to find these types of rear-facing car seats in regular stores in the United Kingdom. A buyer's best source for a rear-facing car seat for a toddler or older child is an online venue like eBay.

Convertible Car Seats

A convertible car seat is a car seat that is reconfigured as a child grows. The chair converts from a rear-facing car seat for infants to a forward-facing car seat for older children. There is a higher weight limit for rear-facing, convertible car seats, because the car seats are larger than rear-facing, infant car seats to accommodate forward-facing, older children. Because convertible car seats have weight limits between 18 and 36 kg, they fall within Group 1 and Group 2. Larger infants and toddlers are therefore able to stay in the rear-facing position longer before having to convert the car seat to a forward-facing car seat.

Although convertible car seats are more expensive than rear-facing infant car seats, there is no need to buy a second car seat once the infant has outgrown the weight and age limit for using the car seat as a rear-facing car seat. The car seat is simply turned to the forward-facing position. A convertible car seat can be used in the front seat or rear seat of a car, but it should never be used in the front seat of a car with a working airbag.

Convertible car seats do not include a multi-position handle for carrying the car seat. The car seat is securely locked into position by the car's seat belt. Most convertible car seats come equipped with a five-point harness to securely restrain the child's shoulders, hips, and legs.

The following table highlights the basic weight and age limits for the three types of rear-facing car seats. When shopping for rear-facing car seats, it is important to follow these recommendations. Safety should always be the most important consideration.

Type

Weight

Age

Rear-facing, infant

0 to 13 kg

Birth to 15 months

Rear-facing, toddler and older children

Up to 18 kg

Up to 4 years old

Convertible

9 to 18 kgs, but some extend to 36 kg

9 months to 4 years old

The table above illustrates the three types of rear-facing car seats. Rear-facing, infant car seats and convertible car seats are the most widely available car seats in the United Kingdom. Rear-facing car seats for toddlers and older children are available in select stores and online.

Other Factors to Consider

When shopping for a rear-facing car seat, there are other factors to consider besides seating configuration, and the height and weight limitations. The buyer should never purchase a car seat that has been involved in a car crash. The body and harness of the car seat may be damaged. The buyer should be familiar with the car seat body and fabric materials. The buyer should also consider the colours, fabric designs, and additional accessories.

Car Seat Body and Fabric Materials

Rear-facing car seats are made from polypropylene plastic. This type of plastic is harder than regular plastic, yet it is more flexible and better able to absorb the impact from a car crash. This type of plastic is very durable and easy to clean, and it is available in different colours.

Car seat covers and straps are made from flame-resistant fabrics. The covers and straps are washable and come in many different colours, such as black, grey, red, blue, silver, and pink. Designs include stripes, solid colours, plaids, and prints.

Car Seat Accessories

Some rear-facing, infant car seats come with car seat accessories, such as adjustable canopies for shielding the infant from the weather. One can also purchase additional head and body support cushions. Convertible car seats may include cup holders, arm rests, and reclining backrests.

Buying Rear-Facing Car Seats on eBay

When shopping for rear-facing car seats on eBay, there are several easy to use search methods for navigating the site. On the eBay home page, the buyer types in ' rear-facing car seat ' into the search field. The buyer then clicks on the 'Search' button and is quickly routed to a page of listings for rear-facing car seats.

The buyer can also search for rear-facing car seats using another search method. eBay provides category options on the home page and search filters on the results page. The buyer must remember that rear-facing car seats may be found listed under more than one category. The buyer is able to use various search filters to sort the listings. If the buyer has a particular brand name that they favour, then they can sort the listings to only show car seats manufactured by a certain brand.

When reading the descriptions, the buyer should pay careful attention to the weight and age requirements. If the car seat is listed as 'used', the buyer should enquire about the age of the car seat. Car seats that predate the latest stringent safety guides may not be as safe as new car seats. Never buy a car seat that was involved in accident, was recalled by the manufacturer, or shows obvious signs of damage.

Conclusion

Car seats save the lives of hundreds of children in the U.K. every year. It is the law that every child, up to the age of 12 and 135 cm in height, be secured in a car seat. A driver found to be non-compliant with this law is liable for stiff penalties. When shopping for a rear-facing car seat, the buyer must first determine what type of car seat is suitable. The choice should be based on weight and age requirements. Next, the buyer should look out for car seats that comply with safety regulations and installation standards. Once these issues are resolved, the buyer must also determine if the car seat fits their make and model of car. This can be accomplished by comparing the car seat and car dimensions for appropriate width and length. Finally, the buyer should consider features like colour, fabric design, and any additional accessories. The more expensive car seats include more accessories and safety features. eBay offers a wide selection of rear-facing car seats that meet budgets of every size.

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