Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


Sponsored Ads

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    Unhappy How long RF with LONG legs?

    18mo DS has pretty long legs, so he always has to splay them out on either side of the seatback or tuck them up cross-legged. DH doesn't feel like it's safe for him to ride that way, so he wants to turn him FF.

    Any insight?

  2. # ADS
    Sponsored Ads

  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: How long RF with LONG legs?

    His feet, hips, knees, and legs will not be injured in a crash. There have been no documented cases of lower extremities injuries reported. There have, however, been MANY document cases of neck, head, and spinal injuries from prematurely forward facing. Even if leg injuries were possible, which would you prefer? Leg or spine? Carseats are not designed to protect legs. Those are an added bonus. Kids can deal with broken legs, even severed legs. They can't deal with broken necks or severed spinal columns.

    Have him read this page ( and watch the videos at the bottom.

    As for how long? Here's my five year old. So apparently pretty long.

    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic  785

  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Chesterfield, VA

    Re: How long RF with LONG legs?

    Good for you keeping him RF so far! But yeah, no risk to legs, HUGE risk to neck, RF is 4 times safer in a side impact.. My own tallish 4 yo happily rode rearfacing till she was a full 33 pounds
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: How long RF with LONG legs?

    My son is also tall and I asked his pediatrician, who told me exactly what the other posters said. His head and neck were more important to protect and if anything, he might have a minor leg injury. Much safer to be rear-facing until those neck muscle strengthen.
    DS4 FF Britax Marathon
    DS2 FF Britax Roundabout

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: How long RF with LONG legs?

    Good to hear your ped. is on board about RF. It's not the muscle strength or muscle development that is a concern really, though. It's the spinal column's development and the hardening/fusion of the protective vertebrae as the child grows older that really matter and why extended rear facing is recommended as long as possible. There's an excellent illustrated post about the spinal column/vertebral development showing the progression from an infant to a 6 year old on another board. If I can find the link, I'll post it here for reference. Edited to add link:

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

Similar Threads

  1. How can RF and long legs be safe?
    By dimsumdaddy in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 01-04-2008, 10:52 AM
  2. Long Legs in Radian VS. FPSVD
    By Mom2nj in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-05-2007, 04:20 PM
  3. Mr. long legs
    By MelllieMa in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-21-2006, 09:17 AM
  4. My 10-month old's legs are too long for rear-facing seat.
    By DLynn in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-08-2004, 02:09 PM
  5. Rear facing 16 month old with long legs....
    By Unregistered in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-29-2004, 08:32 PM

Tags for this Thread



Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts