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Babies Encyclopedia: What are the advantages of extended rear facing car seats?

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CafeMom Team

Asked by CafeMom Team at 12:54 PM on Sep. 7, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (576 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • It's a safety issue. Little ones necks' are still not strong enough at 1 to withstand a crash.
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 12:58 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • basically since babies have such a big head relative to the size of their body, a rear-facing car seat protects their spinal cord the best in any kind of collision. here's an excellent website you can see links to research regarding this topic http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx

    princessbeth79

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 12:59 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Even at 1 year old the babies necks are not strong enough to withstand the forces during a normal crash so rear facing is the safest and easiest way to protect their neck in a crash. I was an EMT and saw many children in car accidents and because of what I have seen my kids are rear facing as long as they can be and in 5 point harnesses forward facing for as long after that as they can be. Soon my oldest (5 years old) will be moving to a belt positioning booster because he is almost too tall for his 5 point harness. He will then be in that as long as possible too. The studies are out there, the crash test footage is out there. I see no reason why a parent would compromise the safety of their child by turning them around before they need to be. Just because the law says at least 1 year and 20 lbs does not mean you HAVE to turn them around then.
    aeneva

    Answer by aeneva at 1:09 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • In the event of a crash, most people and especially babies and children would all be safer backwards, however, it isn't convenient for adults. They have a higher chance of being internally decapitated in an accident due to head to neck ratio. I plan on RF my child to the capacity of the best RFing seat...around 40lbs.
    BradenIsMySon

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:13 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • The advantages are keeping your child as safe as you can for as long as you can. Personally, I think this is really all anyone needs to know, as knowing this was all I needed to know to decide to keep my son rear facing. In the event of an accident, instead of being thrown forward, child is instead cradled by the seat.
    Krysta622

    Answer by Krysta622 at 2:47 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • This is what I was going to say---In the event of a crash, most people and especially babies and children would all be safer backwards, however, it isn't convenient for adults. They have a higher chance of being internally decapitated in an accident due to head to neck ratio. I plan on RF my child to the capacity of the best RFing seat...around 40lbs.
    itsallabtthem84

    Answer by itsallabtthem84 at 2:49 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • The advantages are keeping your child as safe as you can for as long as you can. Personally, I think this is really all anyone needs to know, as knowing this was all I needed to know to decide to keep my son rear facing. In the event of an accident, instead of being thrown forward, child is instead cradled by the seat. posted by Krysta622

    I TOTALLY AGREE!!!!
    kyriesmommy13

    Answer by kyriesmommy13 at 2:57 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • A child's spine bones in the neck do not fuse together till between the ages of a and 4 years. Therefore if a child is forward facing and in a severe side or front impacted car accident they could be internally decapitated. Where if they are rear facing the seat is tilted enough that it cradles their neck in the right position so it wont be harmed. There are more cases of children being internally decapitated then there are of children getting broken legs because of being too long leg wise for rear facing.
    jennifer1983

    Answer by jennifer1983 at 8:52 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Though I did not choose to ERF my children, by choice, (they were very small and rear faced until 18 months) I can see the value in the practice. They are in a more protected position especially when talking about front end collisions since the head would not be whipped forward causing neck damage.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:23 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • They are definitely more safer than forward facing car seats. Different states vary for their laws on the age you can change to a forward facing, although the average is about a year old or 20lbs. HOWEVER.. that is the recommended MINIMUM age to switch to a forward facing. Babies don't have the muscle strength in their necks to be able support the force that an impact can jar. In a lot of cases on children that are in accidents in a forward facing seat below the age of 24 months, the child is more likely to snap it's neck, or have their spinal cord decapitated, thus resulting is massive injury or worse, death. It is highly recommended to keep a child rear facing until at least the age of two now. It's also recommended to be aware of the weight restrictions of certain models and to get a model that accommodates their weight to keep them rear facing as long as possible.
    xxhazeldovexx

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:02 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

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