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What is Extended Rear Facing and why is it so important?

What is Extended Rear Facing (ERF)?

Extended Rear Facing (ERF) is keeping your child facing backwards in their car seat for as long as possible. Extending the child's age way past what is considered legal (15 months), before turning them forward facing.

Rear-facing has been proven to be up to five times safer when compared to forward facing and saves children’s lives every day. The facts are clear, rear-facing safety makes a huge difference for your child in the event of an accident.

Why is rear facing so much safer?

A rear-facing car seat provides superior protection to your child’s head, neck and spine in the event of a collision. Distributing the crash forces over a larger area, significantly reducing the forces acting upon the neck.

In the event of a collision the chances of surviving or avoiding severe injuries increases significantly if your child is travelling in a rear-facing car seat instead of a forward-facing car seat.

A child’s head is disproportionate to the body and equates to approximately 25% of the total bodyweight in comparison to an adult where the head only counts for about 6% of the total bodyweight.

In addition to this, a child’s neck is incredibly vulnerable as it is not fully developed. The sensitive neck in addition to the head’s weight makes it even more important to protect and support the child’s neck for as long as possible.

How much safer is rear facing? Up to five times safer!

Frontal crash tests show that the forces acting on the neck are up to five times greater when the child is sitting forward facing compared to a rear facing. This means travelling in a rear facing car seat can be up to five times safer for your child.

When in a forward facing car seat, the impact of a crash pushes the body out of the seat with the belt holding the body in place, but the head still wants to move forward. This results in crash forces being transferred to the child’s neck, creating enormous tension in the neck.

With a rear facing car seat supporting the child’s entire back, neck and head, the crash forces are distributed over a larger area, significantly reducing the forces imposed on the neck and providing a much safer way to travel (five times safer!).

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