Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I babies staying rear facing.

Remember my I Believe post from a few weeks ago?

I believe that children should be rear facing in car seats for at least 2 years. Broken legs are better than broken spines. And my kids will stay in car seats until they are much bigger than the recommended 40 lbs.

A friend asked me to post more about keeping your children rear facing, so here we go.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, "All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear facing car seat until they are 2 of age or until they reach the highest height or weight allowed by their car seat's maufacturer."

Why is this the recommendation?

Because it's safer. Check out the video.

* When a child is forward facing, there is a lot of stress on their neck in a crash. The weight of the child's head in a crash causes the spinal column to stretch (which it is not meant to do). It can tear causing internal decapitation.

* Rear facing seats do a great job at protection children because the seat absorbs the crash and the head and neck are kept in alignment.

* Rear end collisions are less frequent than front in collisions and occur at lower speeds.

* A forward-facing child under 2 years old is 4 times MORE likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash.

Layne stayed rear facing until she was 3 1/2 and Grayson is still rear facing.

So, when do you turn them around?

If they are within 1 inch of the top of the car seat.

If they are at the maximum weight for rear facing

Which leads me to my next point...

Car Seat Selection

We chose Britax car seats-we have two Roundabouts and three Marathons. At the time, they were the top safety rated. And, they are approved to higher maximum height and weigh limits rear facing and forward facing.

Buying a new seat? Check out the link below.

Consumer Research on Car Seats

Proper Installation

If the seats aren't installed right, it won't matter if they are forward facing or rear facing. Many local fire departments will check for proper installation.

Then what? What about forward facing and boosters?

Many people say, "Well, my other kids turned around at 1 yr old and they were fine." But your other kids weren't in a car crash. And you never know. Better safe than sorry.


i-Village Car Seat message Board
AAP Car Seat Guide (Click view Sample for the PDF version)
The Car Seat Lady


  1. Is there more data for rear facing after 2? I'm curious, because I have heard that rear facing is always safer, and if you have a convertable rear facing car seat, most of those go to 40 lbs, so I assume it would be fine to have a child rear facing until they reach that maximum, if desired. Thanks for this information!

    1. There is a ton of data on extended rear facing out there. This post is 6 years old, but one of my favorite resources is still The Car Seat Lady. Since this post, we've had two more children and one rear faced until age 3 and the other is still rear facing. We keep them
      Rear facing until their seat is unsafe rear facing, which is when you reach the rear facing weight limit or their heads are within 1 inch of the top of the seat. Good luck!


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