Backwards is Best!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Riding rear-facing is safest! One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child(ren) safe.  Automobile crashes are the number one cause of death for children under fourteen.  This makes car safety especially important. Parents often ask, "How soon can I turn my child to face forward?" The universally accepted response is to keep your child rear-facing until AT LEAST one year of age AND 20 pounds in weight.  This is the minimum. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other Child Passenger Safety organizations strongly recommend that you to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, and that may mean up to 35 or 40 pounds for most convertible car seats.

  • 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 child'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 child'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 Pediatrics, and can reduce injuries and deaths.   


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