Forward-Facing Basics

Posted in: Forward-Facing Seats

Since rear-facing is much safer than forward-facing, we should ask why anyone (besides the driver) would ride forward-facing. Even flight attendants and astronauts sit rear-facing! Still, once your chlid is too tall or too heavy for his convertible seat’s rear-facing mode, he must sit forward-facing and this section will help you make this transition.

Who sits forward-facing?

Kids who have outgrown their child safety seat’s rear-facing height or weight limits. If your child is still within the height and weight limits for rear-facing, he should REMAIN rear-facing. Rear-facing is 5 times safer than forward-facing!

What seats can be used forward-facing?

There are three types:

  1. Convertible seats. These can be used rear-facing OR forward-facing
  2.  Combination seats. These can be used forward-facing OR as booster seats.
  3. Forward-facing only seats. These are seats with a 5 point harness that are only forward facing and can never go rear-facing nor turn into a booster.

Where does the seat go in the vehicle?

The center of the back seat is the safest place in the car–it is 43% safer than the side seats.

When is my child too big for his forward-facing seat?

There are three things to look for to see if your child is too big for his forward-facing seat:

  1. Weight limit. Your child must not exceed the maximum weight limit for the 5 point harness. If your seat turns into a booster, make sure to read the manual carefully as the weight limit for the harness will be much lower than the weight limit for the booster. Maximum weight limits for the harness currently range from 40 to 90 pounds, depending on the seat you have.
  2. Head Height limit. Your child’s ears must not be taller than the top of the child safety seat.
  3. Shoulder Height limit. Your child’s shoulders must not be higher than the top harness strap slot used for forward-facing 5-point harness mode.

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