Saturday, October 18, 2008

FYI...this blows my mind


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.

5 Comments:

  1. cmnacnud said...
    I wouldn't worry too much about it. Ideally we would all be packed in foam so that we could not move relative to our stable car in a crash. However we do what we can that is feasible and will provide the most safety for ourselves and our children.

    The reason that babies are rear facing is because they have little to no head control musculature to stabilize with. Also their heads are over large, proportionally thus the effects of whiplash are more likely to cause damage.

    I was doing some research on a similar topic for my patients when I found something interesting. Here in Utah it is law that children remain in a booster seat until they are 57 inches tall, and that is the recommendation from all the national safety agencies. When I called to get the study about the particular height they didn't have one. Why 57 inches? Who knows. It's completely arbitrary as far as I can tell.

    What they're saying is that you should keep them in as long as you can. So the car seat makers make more money :) I mean, to keep your kids safe.

    So don't be over anxious to turn your kids around, but don't be over protective either. Life has risk. Enjoy life, moderation in all things.
    Crystal said...
    I've heard this too. I can't believe Esther is still only 23 pounds!! Featherweights for sure :)
    Abby Hanson said...
    Thanks Chris! I feel less "paranoid" about it now. :)
    Andy Guo said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Hilary said...
    My little girl was teeny tiny too . . . we didn't turn her around 'til like 19 months, and it was SUCH this big deal to us, like, "Yay! Finally!" Like two weeks after we turned her around we started reading all of this kinda stuff and thinking, "Um, oops. Maybe we should've left her longer." We kept her forward facing from there on though, but it makes me wonder what we'll do with our second baby, who's still at least 7 months from going forward facing, but I go back and forth if we turn her around at 20 lbs/1 year, or if we wait as long as possible. Sorry, long story short, I feel your pain! :-) For now though our two and half year old shot up 8 lbs in 4 months and is nearing 30 lbs now, so it's kind of a moot point!

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