Why You Should Extend Rear Facing Your Child – Car Seat Safety You Should Know

Being pregnant is such a special time but there are lots of challenging choices to be made. So many different items on the market and choosing a car seat is no different. I had such a difficult time choosing a car seat for my little one when I was pregnant. I think it was probably one of the most confusing decisions for me. This is common knowledge information. To add to the mess I had a Volkswagen Beetle!! So Tiny! (I did not want to get rid of it, I loved my little car) There are so many different car seats out there But I finally decided on a Britax B-Agile Travel System and I was glad that part was over.

As my baby got older and I read more and more information about car seats.  Most parents I had been around forward face their children at around 12 months of age. (some even sooner). Thankfully, I read up on car seat safety early to not make that mistake and offer my child the safest travel option.

Recommendations are constantly changing for the better, the AAP now recommends rear-facing children to a minimum of age 2 and the use of a booster until at least age 8.

I know there are a lot of things that us as parents overlook because we don’t even give it a second thought. We just think everyone is doing it and put it aside as “normal”. I really hope more and more parents get away from that train of thought. We don’t want to parent with blinders on. I know that different parents make different choices for their children. But this isn’t one of them, it’s based on their safety and unless your child has a disability that requires them to be in a certain position rear-facing would be the best option for them. 

Here’s why:

Before the age of 4 children’s bones aren’t fully set yet and the impact to a forward facing child in a collision could be catastrophic to their little bodies leading to serious injuries or even death.

Will they be uncomfortable? 

4 Year Old-Courtesy of Car Seat lady

I hear a lot of, “my child is too big”, “his legs are too long”. This is one of the biggest misconceptions associated with car seat safety. Children are comfortable in the weirdest position, and it’s okay if they have their legs crossed because of how tall they are. In no way does that interfere with their safety. A baby turned forward too soon (even meeting weight requirements) could suffer internal decapitation in a crash because their spines aren’t mature enough yet. Rear-facing is 500% safer! That’s a staggering percentage.

“Toddlers are not just small adults; their bodies are still developing and those developmental changes make them more vulnerable than an adult. A toddler’s vertebrae are connected via cartilage rather than ossified bone. Those connections are called synchondroses, which are slowly closing over time. There are three major points of ossification, each with two synchondroses. According to a study published in the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, the first station to close is the C3, second is the axis, and third is the atlas. The results of the study show: Continue Reading Over at Car Seats for Littles”

You can visit the Car Seat for Littles and The Car Seat Lady websites for more information. Information is Power. If you’re interested in knowing When to make the switch, read here.

Thanks for reading.

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Disclaimer: I am not a CPST, but have done a lot of car seat safety research. Please read your car seat’s manual for proper installation and usage and always remember to buckle your children in correctly.

Books I’m Reading & Recommend

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom by Pamela Druckerman

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