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Since we're coming up on the first birthday...

Posted by on May. 2, 2010 at 7:38 PM
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I figured it was a good time to address the carseat rule of 1 and 20.

Or moreso, why you should ignore it.

As most of you know, the bare minimum required by LAW and by ALL carseats is at least 1 year old and 20 pounds before you can forward-face a baby.  Some seats say 22 pounds.

However, countless studies in our country, and in countries more advanced in this area than ours have shown that rear-facing shouldn't end because of a magical number, but should only end when the child literally can't fit that way anymore.

Even the incredibly slow American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that you wait until your child is AT LEAST two years old AND thirty pounds before you consider turning them forward facing.


Why is rear-facing safer?

  • 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.
    (The injury is often what is called INTERNAL DECAPITATION - it's where the skull breaks away from the spine and the spinal cord snaps, even though the skin of the neck is still intact on the outside.)

  • Rear-facing car seats spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a child's back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash. 
    (Forward-facing does not ever allow the recline that rear-facing does, that allows the body to glide with the seat's angle rather than a harsh perpendicular snap.)

  • 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.
    (In rear-end crashes, the vehicles are facing the same direction and often even moving the same direction.  Momentum is easily dispersed this way versus a dead stop from the front or side that forces the vehicle in an uneasy, unnatural direction that it was not already headed.)

  • Rear-facing carseats are NOT a safety risk just because a child's legs are bent at the knees or because they can touch/kick the vehicle seat.
    (There have been NO records of children breaking their legs due to them touching the back of the seat.  Regardless even if they would break their legs, you have a choice of them breaking their legs or their neck... legs can be fixed, necks equal death.)

  • 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.
    (In countries where children are rear-faced until 4-6 years old such as Sweden even though they have no law as such but instead just educated citizens, this number is minute, and almost always is an accident where there was no chance of survival no matter what.)



For more info, check out this page that discusses more of the physical logistics of a crash and why rear-facing is superior.

Children should ideally not be forward-facing before they are four years old but the seats in this country don't always allow such.  However, the longer the better.  It IS worth your child's life.

If you'd like to question why I care or why I'm so passionate about this issue or are thinking, "As long as it's legal, who are you to question me?" please read this.

Also be aware that if you post pictures in the group of your kiddo in your carseat, I'm going to PM you if I see a problem.  I hope you all understand I don't do this because I'm self-righteous (what do I gain by what you do anyway?) but because I CARE about the lives of babies.  I CARE about children and their health.  I do it because I care, and because I genuinely hope that the reason people don't do the best they possibly can is only because they don't KNOW, so I strive to help share the information I've learned over the years so that no one ever has to be shopping for a tiny casket and wondering if they'd only known this information before, if they could have been home hugging their child instead.

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by on May. 2, 2010 at 7:38 PM
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mamachef694
by Member on May. 2, 2010 at 8:01 PM

ok...so I will probably get some s**t for this but Kairi is forward facing and she will be 1 next week... here is our reason...  Kairi has SEVERE panic attacks if she is facing backwards... EVEN in a grocery cart... I recorded one for her Doc and it's not simple crying or freaking out or anything like that she freaks out BAD I dont put her in grocery carts I carry her but we waited as long as we could... and she has been forward facing for like 2 weeks... but 

RanaAurora
by Group Owner on May. 3, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Have you taken her for Early Intervention and sensory tests?  A friend has a child who has major issues with carts and too much stimulation.  He does sensory therapies, weighted vests, etc.  It's something to consider.

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Kat770
by on May. 4, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Eleanor is def ERF, but it gets so tempting to want to turn them around once you know that you legally "can"!!  We have the MyRide, and with its relatively short shell (compared to others) she'll prob outgrow it in height before she outgrows it in weight.  (she runs about 95th in height and 60th for weight).

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