In 1984 Europe’s very first baby car seat was introduced by Maxi-Cosi and started a revolution. It was installed rearward facing by the car’s seat belt which was highly unusual at the time. Most seats hung over the back seat with steel hooks and were forward facing. After this date, the safety level for babies travelling by car was radically improved.
Maxi-Cosi developed its first rearfacing car seat for toddlers (Maxi-Cosi Mobi) in December 2004. This car seat has become very popular especially in Scandinavia, where rearward facing car seats for toddlers are popular already for quite some time.
Ever since 1984, cars have become bigger and safety benefits of longer rearfacing travel are becoming more recognized throughout Europe. Maxi-Cosi has recently developed the AxissFix and the 2wayPearl car seats as a more compact rearfacing solutions for toddlers. These car seats are installed by ISOFIX to the car’s chassis and allows rearfacing travel until:
- 105 cm (or approximately 4 years old) for the 2wayPearl
- 87 cm (or approximatively 2 years old) for the AxissFix
The benefits of rearward facing travel have been discovered even before
The benefits of rearward facing travel have been discovered even before this time by a Swedish professor named Bertil Aldman. He noticed that astronauts were positioned rearward facing in a space shuttle and as a result were able to better withstand the forces. He used this principle to develop the first rearward facing car seat for toddlers. In Sweden this type of car seat for toddlers became popular and widely used ever since.
While in Sweden the adaptation of this type of car seats was quick, in the rest of Europe it took much longer. Parents in other countries preferred to place toddlers forward facing due to many different reasons (limited space in cars for rearfacing car seats, desire to see and interact with their toddlers, doubts if toddlers are as comfortable due to travel sickness and less legroom). Fortunately now also in the rest of Europe benefits of rearward facing travel are increasingly recognized, and toddlers will travel more and more in a rearfacing position.