Saturday, October 18, 2008
I just found this on car-safety.org and it is also backed up by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics). Okay, I knew that it was important to keep kids rear-facing till they are at least one and 20 pounds in weight. Each of my girls had to wait until somewhere between 15-18 months, being such featherweights. But after reading this, I'm seriously considering turning our 2-year-old, 23 pounder rear-facing again!
A common question asked by parents is, "How soon can I turn my child to face forward?" The universally accepted response is to keep your child rear facing to AT LEAST one year of age AND 20 pounds in weight. In fact, it is preferable to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, and that may mean up to 30 or 35 pounds for most convertible car seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other Child Passenger Safety organizations endorse this philosophy.
- Rear-facing is safest for both adults and children, but especially for babies, who would face a greater risk of spinal cord injury in a front-facing carseat during a frontal crash.
- Rear-facing car seats spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a baby's back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash.
- Rear-facing carseats may not be quite as effective in a rear end crash, but severe frontal and frontal offset crashes are far more frequent and far more severe than severe rear end crashes.
- Rear-facing carseats are NOT a safety risk just because a baby's legs are bent at the knees or because they can touch/kick the vehicle seat.
- Rear-facing as long as possible is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatricians, and can reduce injuries and deaths. Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 overall cause of death for children 14 and under.