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Child car seat advice questioned: Toddlers should face the rear longer

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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 08:35 PM
Original message
Child car seat advice questioned: Toddlers should face the rear longer /

Ask any parent about graduating their infant from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing one and youll likely hear this common refrain at least 20 pounds and at least one year (although some estimates say a full 30 percent of parents go against this guideline and actually face their children forward earlier).

This advice is generally what our doctors tell us and its the car seat safety mantra thats been drilled into our heads from organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


His study, presented at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, involved 870 children under age 2 who had been in either rear-facing or forward-facing car seats at the time of an automobile accident. He found that the children in forward-facing seats were more than four times as likely to be injured in side crashes as opposed to the children in rear-facing seats. The study also found a small but not statistically significant benefit for facing rear in frontal crashes.

The findings from the other countries and in Chris Sherwoods work, although preliminary, should be considered carefully, says Kristy Arbogast, associate director of field engineering with Traumalink at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and a leading researcher in the field. Arbogast notes that in general the newest evidence appears convincing that keeping children facing rear longer is probably the safest way to go.


Just thought I'd pass this article along to the parents of young kids, along with a reminder that 9 out of 10 car seats are bing used incorrectly and a request to please get your seats checked by a Child Pasenger Safety Technician. You can locate a CPST at .

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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 10:26 PM
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1. Although I feel compelled to add...
that my understanding is that many states actually require the seat face the rear at least until a certain age/weight. So if you have them face the front, it's not just not safe, it's possibly against the law.

For that matter, some states require child seats until my greater ages - Vermont requires that kids below age 8, I think, be in a child seat. Some kids at age 8 are pretty solid - like 80 pounds or so - and finding a child seat for them, much less getting them to sit in it - is not all that easy.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-05 12:32 AM
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2. At that age
Edited on Wed Nov-09-05 12:33 AM by LeftyMom
provided there's adequate head support (the seat back or head rest must be above the ears) and a lap shoulder belt, a inexpensive low back booster works pretty well. Cosco makes a relatively wide one that works well for older kids.

No matter what the law requires, kids should be in boosters until they pass the five step test, as illustrated here.

Generally state laws require only that a child rear-face for the first year, or that the seat be used according to manufacturer isntructions (and no current US seat allows forward-facing before one year and 20 or 22 lbs.)
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