True, your leg size might make it painful for you to sit in a rear facing car seat. But that’s not the case for your child, whose flexible joints make riding rear facing car seats perfectly comfortable. Think about it: Your 6-month-old happily sucks his toes, and your 18-month-old plays happily sitting on the floor with his legs in a pretzel shape. Having installed rear facing car seats for many 3- and 4 year-olds, I can tell you from experience that these older kids, who have far less leg room than your 18-month-old does, don’t complain about their legs hurting.
What about a broken leg? Surprisingly, studies show that forward facing kids break their legs more often in crashes than rear facing kids. A broken leg, however, is easy to fix; brain and spinal cord injuries are typically unfixable. A rear facing car seat virtually eliminates any chance of your child suffering a brain or spinal cord injury.