3/08/2010

Backwards or Forward?

Question:
My baby just turned 1! Can I turn his carseat around so he is front facing now?
-Mother of Four

Answer:
The Short answer: No. The Long Answer: Legally in most states, the answer is Yes. But, most states have minimum car seat requirements; it is up to you as the parent to continue to keep your child safe. So, legally you can turn your child around but that is not the safest thing for your child. Your child is MUCH safer rear facing for as long as their car seat weight limit allows. For most seats, that is around 30 lbs (check your car seat for its rear facing weight limits and do not confuse it with the seat's front facing weight limit- front facing usually has a higher weight limit). Crash tests have shown that children are substanially safer rear facing for front impact and side impact tests which are where the majority of major damage is sustained. You might think that the child looks uncomfortable when its legs get long enough that they have to cross, but that usually does not bother the child, it is natural for a child to prefer sitting cross legged. Some countries in Europe keep their kids rear facing until they are 4 years old and 55 lbs. There are plenty of crash test videos, and they are quite scary and very convincing. For more information on car seat safety, you can visit The Seasoned Parents

Still not convinced? Take 10 minutes and watch these videos. You'll thank me if you ever get in a crash.

Rear vs. Front

Rear is Best



Whaddya think?

1 comment:

  1. Here is a GREAT blog post by my pediatrician about car seat guidelines that I agree with:

    http://www.seattlechildrens.org/seattle-mama-doc/2-is-the-new-1-rear-facing-car-seats-until-at-least-age-2/

    ReplyDelete