Rear facing offers the best protection of the cervical spine in a crash. That's the area at the back of the neck, just   below the skull. This is true even of adults in the form of "whiplash". It's not a good thing for any person.

But young children don't have the strength in their neck to hold there head back. An adults head is approximately     6% of their body weight, whereas a young child's head (under 3 years old) is around 25% of the body weight. Their    heads are about 4 times as heavy as an adults! A big difference. Kids are "bobbleheads".

Upon inpact, particularly front impact, a young child's head is thrown  forward with tremendous force, and potentially can stress, stretch, or even break the spinal cord.

The advantages to front facing are mostly for the parent.  The children are "easier" to put in the car seat, and the parents  can see the childs face when driving. Nice, but not as safe.

And the other "reason" I've heard to front face a child is that it's more  "comfortable" for their legs. Rearfacing, their legs are all "bent up", or   may get broken in an accident. My reply is: I'd rather deal with a broken leg than a broken neck, paralysis, or ....death!  And as for their legs being cramped up, all kids sit with their legs in awkward positions. Watch them on the   couch, or the floor, or in a chair. Their legs are like rubber. They'll adapt.

There is a powerful movement toward extended rear facing children. One major obstacle is that car seat manufacturers currently don't offer RF car seats past 35lbs in the USA. They do in many European countries such  as Sweden, Denmark and Finland. RF car seats as high as 55lbs!

On the next page there are several links that will give you the facts on rear facing.
Spend a little time and read them!!.

They may save you, or a friend, from a horrific experience someday

Aaron  4 years, 4 mos old
Jenna, 3 years, 7 months
3 yrs 3 mos  / 28lbs
These photo's show children 3 yrs+ rear-facing... 

Doesn't appear to be any problem with their legs. Injuries can't always be avoided.  But the question is..........broken leg or broken neck?
March 21, 2011  -  The "NEW" NHTSA Guidelines

Car seat laws...... by State's (USA)

NHTSA's car seat "rating system" (Note: These ratings do not directly measure crash safety, Only how the staff at the NHTSA feel the labels, manuals and features on these models make them easy to use.  They do not even evaluate or test actual vehicle installation, only features that may help installation.)

17 Convertible Car Seats With Extended Rear Facing

Your Rear-Facing Car Seat Questions, Answered

Car Seat "Mistakes" You May Be Making

What about a "rear end" collision?

Car seats - "Recalls" and Replacement Parts       

Booster seats - what you need to know.......

Booster seat evaluations - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 

Radian XT      2 1/2 yr old rear facing in car - VIDEO

Keeping kid's rear facing - they are comfortable! - VIDEO

Sunshine Kids RadianXTSL  = RF to 45lbs / FF to 80lbs - VIDEO

Meet Theresa....

At 3 yrs old, she also had a similar accident
in a "front-facing" car seat.

Read more of her story here
Another family's tragedy.........Story posted  6/23/2009:
"My friends LO died in a car accident the other day. It is so sad...he was 14 months..a big boy 30 inches and 26lbs. He was forward facing..doctorr said he suffered an internal decapitation. "                                                               (read it here)
Car Seat Poncho makes harness installation quick, safe, and warm
(click pic)
Dear Grandpa.......we receive emails from all over the world.  These are our motivation..
Sent: Monday, March 1, 2010 11:17:12 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Thank you!

I watched the video about Joel’s story a little over a year ago when my son was about to turn 1. More than any other piece of information, those images convinced me to keep my son rear-facing. A lot of friends and family questioned me, even my husband at first, but I still have him rear-facing.

We were in a car accident yesterday, and my son was unharmed. My husband and I sustained neck and back injuries but Javier didn’t have a scratch on him. Thank you so much for educating parents about this!

About the accident, it was definitely not as serious as Joel's and his mom's. It was a 3 car crash and we were right in the middle. The strongest impact was from behind. The car in front of us braked suddenly for a another car, we managed to stop just short of that car, but the car behind us didn't. It seems the driver was not looking to the front and she was also not keeping her distance, she never even touched the brakes and slammed into us at about 40 mph. We were thrown several yards forward and hit the car in front of us. The car behind us was a small car (Mazda 3), we were driving a Ford Escape, so the Mazda looked much more damaged, but our car has a lot of hidden damage, more than we thought at first. The Mazda sort of wedged itself under our SUV on impact, even lifting our car a few inches, so the floor of our trunk is practically destroyed. The damage almost reached the backseat, the stroller and spare tire were thrown upwards.

Javier, who is 25 months old, was sitting in his Britax Boulevard in the middle seat, rear-facing of course! My husband and I have neck sprains. Fortunately our injuries are not serious. Javier was pretty shaken up, but he was not hurt. I just think what whiplash could've done to his little neck if he'd been facing forward and it sends chills down my spine. 

I hope our story is helpful, feel free to use it for the website.    God bless you..