DS is 2 1/2 years old, about 27 pounds, about 35 inches tall.
DH says now we should already be turning DS around to frontfacing. He has heard the rearfacing arguments but says that here in Japan (as opposed to the US) the most common type of accident is people not paying attention and hitting the car in front of them that has already stopped at a red light. (In fact, just one or two years ago, that had happened to him -- DH was stopped at a red light and someone crashed into him from behind.) So anyway, this is what he says is the most common kind of accident here.
So should I let him turn the carseat around to frontfacing? Is DS ready as far as age and/or size)? Thanks!
Does he actually have statistics for rear-impact crashes being more common than front/frontal offset/side impact? Also, rear-impact crashes usually happen at relatively low speeds. If two cars are going the same direction, the impact force is caused by the difference in the speeds of the cars, but if two cars are going the opposite direction, the impact force is the sum of the speeds - so front impact tends to hit harder, faster, etc... So physics (which I'm confident are the same in Japan) also plays a role. It's possible that the crash statistics are very different there, which may change things, but I would tend toward rear-facing unless I had some good data showing that the situation is different in Japan than the rest of the world.
Thanks for your inputs. But now what? So today I went to the Babies R Us store to look for a seat my toddler will fit since he is outgrowing his current one (head is already at the top of the car seat). But the clerks told me that they don't sell rear-facing car seats for toddlers in Japan because the standard is to forward face them at (I forget already, language translation overload, lol!) either 1 1/2 years or by 2 years at the latest.
They had "junior car seats" meant for toddlers that are forward facing, but only have a big bar across the lap. That didn't look at all safe to me.
Then they said, for the younger, baby car seats, there are a couple that could still fit a toddler and while these are still forward facing, they at least have shoulder straps. However, they don't have that clip that goes higher up across the chest as it is "dangerous" (for what reason, I don't know, and they didn't really explain). I don't know enough about car seats since my only experience with child car seats is here in Japan, so I don't know what to look for.
How are rear facing car seats secured to the car's car seats in the US? Is it just the back seat adult seat belt buckle strapped to the front part of the child car seat? The the head/back part of the child car seat is only resting on the car's front seat back? That is how the rear facing baby car seats are installed here. But I've always wondered if that is safe, if that is how it is in America too?
If they don't sell rear facing car seats for toddlers here, could I just get the one I mentioned above, but install it rear-facing? (Or maybe it is not even possible, I didn't think to look at that aspect... maybe they don't have a way to allow the adult seat belt buckle to secure onto the baby car seat.) But if I can and do, is it better to have it reclined still, or okay to prop it more upright? Should I look for a chest clip I can just add on myself or is it really dangerous as they told me?
The thought did cross my mind to see if I could order from the US, but the COST! I seriously don't think we would be able to afford it as shipping alone would be majorly expensive. Plus, I wouldn't know if there would be any quirks such that a US car seat wouldn't work in a Japanese car.
What to do? Do I have any other options you can see that I am not aware of?
I don't know a thing about Japan, but you might want to ask about specific seats in the international forum over at car-seat.org.
Also, never use a car seat intended for ffing only rfing. It's not tested that way. Ffing is safer in that situation.
And yes, installation sounds the same.