Car seat safety is paramount because it has to save lives if an accident occurs. R129 guidelines are extremely vital to adhere to, but so are other testing standards due to the wide range of testing worldwide.
A Swedish study into child car seat performance found that rear-facing models reduce the likelihood of injury by 90%. This result proves the significance of using rear-facing car seats for children of certain ages who are unable to effectively support themselves. In this article, we will explore what extended rear-facing car seats are and look into the Swedish Plus Testing to understand why it’s so significant. We will also share some recommendations for quality seats that have passed this assessment to make buying a safe car seat simple.
Keep reading to learn more about this safety badge of excellence within the world of child car seats that every parent should be clued up on.
What Are Extended Rear Facing Car Seats?
You will likely have heard of a rear-facing car seat but may be confused by what an extended model is. An extended rear-facing car seat is a product that can still be used in a reverse-installed position even once a baby has outgrown the traditional car seat requirements (either in height or weight). An extended rear-facing car seat can be used until the child is approximately four years of age. This is law in some countries but only a recommendation in the UK.
Due to their popularity, these car seat models are growing in popularity, so you can expect to see even more available over the coming years. This is not just due to the safety benefits but also the value for money that investing in these products offers. Parents can benefit from one car seat for the first few years of a child’s life thanks to the full adjustability and sizing adaptations. Some models are also available in fully convertible designs, meaning that the same car seat could last from birth to the point where a child has outgrown the need for a car seat.
Extended rear-facing seats offer extensive safety support which includes the following:
- Thanks to the robust sign and advanced interior protection, the seats ensure that the young child’s head does not move around, which is essential for minimising injury should an accident occur.
- These car seats also safely distribute the rest of the child’s weight as the impact is experienced via the child’s strongest part of the body, the back.
- The child’s head is completely protected by placing the seat in a rear position and making the most of adjustable headrests. This not only relates to the support that is given but also the shielding from other debris that could become loose in the case of a road traffic accident.
- The chance of the child’s head hitting other surfaces, such as the seat, door or window, is also eliminated.
- These seats also hold children in a more secure position, which is important for smaller little ones who can suffer from obstruction to breathing if they fall out of place.
What is Swedish Plus Testing?
Swedish Plus Testing is the most rigorous assessment that a rear-facing car seat can pass, making it a popular choice for manufacturers to invest in. Founded in 2009, the testing standard guarantees that a child is not exposed to excessive force to the neck or back for seats that pass. Important for all ages, this is particularly critical for babies and those in their early years who are still growing and developing stronger bones.
The test requires the following to be achieved for models to pass the test:
Car seats must withstand a higher speed than the one used by R129 testing. This is recorded at 56 kph compared to the 50 kph speed used for European standards, showcasing that this testing does, in fact, exceed the limits that i-Size Sears meets.
As well as the increased speed, a short braking distance is also tested. This makes for a more intense impact, so the test is known for only allowing the most robust of seats to pass. The shorter braking distance is more closely matched to a real-life accident as the deceleration time is greatly reduced.
The force received by the neck of the test dummy is also focused on as a key performance indicator. Recorded via specially created sensors, this allows an accurate view of how a child’s neck could withstand an accident. The advanced Q-dummies are far superior to the testing agents used within the R129 testing, allowing a more in-depth assessment.
These seats are sold with extended guarantees, offering parents peace of mind that their chosen product is the best one for keeping a child safe.
How Can You Choose the Best Car Seat for Your Child?
If you want to find a car seat that has been Swedish Plus Tested, you will need to search for models that are suitable for children from birth to around four years. You should also factor in the following considerations to ensure you have selected the best option possible for your child.
Height and Weight
All i-Size seats and Swedish Plus models rely on the child’s height and weight to ensure a proper fit. This is because the models are adjustable and can only be guaranteed to offer complete protection if the child is correctly seated. Markets should include where the child’s head is positioned, how the harness fits and where their legs are placed.
It’s simple to find a Swedish Plus Tested seat as all models will include the certification badge. This is a legal requirement in mainland Europe just like having an i-Size seat is legal across the UK.
When selecting a car seat, you will also need to ensure it can be safely installed in the vehicle it will need to be used within. Most modern cars include ISOFIX points to allow for a secure fit. If unavailable, you can get a converter or base to replicate the same safe installation.
Examples of Safe Rear Facing Car Seats That We Recommended
Now that you know exactly what an extended rear-facing car seat is and what Swedish Plus Testing entails, we wanted to show you some examples of car seats we recommended as safety experts.
Firstly, we have the Axkid Minikid 4 Group 1/2/3 Car Seat, which allows rear-facing until around seven years of age (125cm and 36kg). As well as being test-approved, this model is designed to support growing children with up to 30 cm of leg space, which is why it is ideal for children older than the usually extended seat brackets. Additional safety features include an internal 5-point harness, enhanced vehicle compatibility for secure installations, and robust tether points. Installation can also be achieved in less than a minute, meaning this versatile car seat can eliminate any stress a parent may face when travelling with a child.
The Avionaut Sky 2.0 Car Seat is another brilliant example that has passed the Swedish Pus Testing. Including full adjustability with high-quality fabric inserts, this model is ideal for children under 6. This is made possible thanks to the newborn insert and spacious design, which can accommodate a growing child of varying heights and weights. Also designed with comfort in mind, the lining is created from the finest cotton, which is soothing against a child’s skin.
Lastly, we have the gorgeous Britax Max-Safe Pro Group 1/2 Car Seat, which is also suitable for use in an extended rear position until they are approximately seven years of age (or 125cm). The design also boasts Advanced Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT), which combines the benefits of both i-Size and Swedish Plus Testing for ultimate safety. Additional protective features include deep side wings, a secure 5-point harness, an adjustable protective headrest, and an intelligent fitting system. Comfort is also guaranteed thanks to the additional legroom, quality padding and washable cover to ensure the car seat is always fresh and ready to use.
Each car seat showcases how even growing children can travel safely with a rear-facing car seat to enhance their protection. All models are also compatible with new vehicles and available in a collection of colourways to ensure that even as children get older, they will still want to sit in their trendy car seats. We also have lots of other models ideal for this category. Simply view the product details on each listing to understand what testing standard the seat you are interested in complies with.
Why Choose Kiddies Kingdom
We understand that choosing a car seat that will transport your most precious cargo can be overwhelming. At Kiddies Kingdom, we have made it our mission to eliminate the guesswork by only stocking professional-grade car seats that boast the best standards in the world. Our collection of extended rear-facing models that are Swedish Plus Tested represents this.
To learn more, view our collection online or contact our team, who will happily answer any product or safety questions.