Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Extended Rear Facing

One year and twenty pounds.  That is when people are told to turn their babies around forward-facing in their car seats.  As of 06/29/10, Wes is now 1 year and almost 25lbs, and continues to ride rear-facing in his car seat, just as he will be until he reaches the 35lb weight limit or the height limit on his Britax Marathon

Rear-facing is FIVE times safer than forward-facing, so why WOULD I turn him around?  Should I turn him because his legs might become uncomfortable? NO! Toddlers and young children are perfectly comfortable sitting with their legs pulled up or "Indian style", most sit this way on a normal basis anyway! 

 Should I turn him around if he starts getting fussy during car rides because he "can't see"? NO! I would much rather have a fussy baby than a DEAD baby. In a crash, a forward-facing child's head is thrown forward causing the spinal chord to stretch and possibly snap, which can dislocate the spinal chord from the skull.  I would by far prefer a broken leg to a broken neck.

 Should I turn him around for convenience? DEFINITELY NOT!  What is so much more convenient about a forward-facing car seat than a rear-facing car seat? I just don't understand this concept! It is just as much working strapping them in either way!  Is "convenience" really more important than your child's safety? Than their LIFE?

Although the law says you can forward-face your child at 1 year and 20 pounds, most organizations do not recommend it. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that: "..for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back".  Please spread this knowledge of the benefits of extended rear-facing, it could save a child's life.


  1. Amen!

    I added ERF to my list of possible topics for the parenting magazine I write for. :D