Friday, May 4, 2012

Keeping Your Child As Safe As Possible {Car Seat Safety}

Before I became a parent I knew very little about babies and kids. I thought I knew how it all worked but I really had no idea. So when I found out I was pregnant with Noah, I started reading and researching and learning as much as I could. And I'm still reading and learning to this day, even with two kids and much more experience. I feel like as a parent, it is my duty to educate myself on everything there is to know about my kids, and form my own educated opinions on it all. I want my kids to grow up healthy and happy, and knowing how they work and what keeps them safe is one of the best ways I can do that. So when it comes to car seat safety I have researched and talked to other parents, and decided that rear facing my kids as long as possible is the best way to keep them as safe as possible. And I have decided to share what I have learned on my blog just in case there are any parents out there who don't know. So I'm going to hit some key points that I think are very important in keeping our children as safe as possible in the car. 

What is the Law?
For most states the legal limit is to rear face infants until at least 1 year and 20lbs. This is the minimum requirement but the new recommendations suggest that children remain rear-facing until the age of 2 or to the height and weight limit of the particular seat. So in other words, if you're child's car seat rear faces until 30lbs and 36 inches then it is safest to rear face your child until they reach that height and weight. 

Once your child outgrows their car seat rear-facing, they can forward face. They must stay in a convertible, 5 point harness car seat forward facing until they reach the height and weight limits of the car seat. 

One your child outgrows the height and weight limits of their convertible car seat forward facing they can move to a forward facing booster seat. They should ride in a booster until they are 4'9" tall and a regular seat belt fits properly. 

Why is it Safer to Rear-Face?
A baby and small child is at much greater risk for a spinal cord injury during a car accident. Rear-facing helps prevent spinal injuries as well as prevents a baby/small child's head from jerking during a car accident. 

This video gives a GREAT example of the difference an impact can have on a child in a forward facing car seat vs. a rear-facing car seat.

My child likes to look out the window: Your child can still see out the window while rear facing and won't even know the difference if they have always been rear-facing. 

My child's legs are too long:  Your child can bend their legs in an indian style position or prop their legs on the back of the seat. Yes, if their were an accident they're legs or hip could possibly break, but like the video said, a leg or hip can be fixed, a spine can't. 

My child cries in the car when rear-facing: Your child doesn't like being stuck in the seat and not able to move around on his/her own. My baby cries every time we ride in the car seat. But guess what, he doesn't know anything other than rear facing so he's not crying to be forward facing. If you don't turn your child forward facing they won't ever know the difference. Try to distract them with toys or food. Regardless, wouldn't you rather have your baby screaming at you than not with you at all? 

I hope this blog post has show you that rear-facing really is the safest for your infant/toddler.Once they outgrow their car seat rear-facing it is also important to be educated on what is safest for the child forward-facing  It might not always be the easy, but it's all about keeping our children safe. As as parents, why would we not want to keep our children as safe as possible? 



  1. Great post and reminder! I know too many people who do not even know about these new rules! Some people just assume because their kids are bigger than normal, that they can move up quicker than normal too! Very sad! Open your eyes up people!

  2. Very informative. My children be born before car seats were even thought of. so with that being said... I love knowing my grandchildren are being cradled in safety as the go about their daily travels.
    We are the parent, it is our responsibility to make the tough/right choices to keep our children safe.

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  4. This is a topic near and dear to my heart! My daughter and I are survivors of a high speed highway crash where a speeding car lost control and flew over the median into us. Something we had no control over, but there are so many things as parents we DO have control over like choosing the safest car seats we can afford and installing them in the safest way possible.

    I most recently wrote about this on my blog here:

  5. Thank you for this.
    Have you seen the carseats from old Sears catalogs in the 40s?
    They certainly have come a long way.

    Anytime anyone tries to question my 26 month old rear facing, I say better a broken leg than a broken neck!

  6. I just recently learned about the rear facing until 2 recommendation - and love tha tI came across your tips here! Great info that helps a TON to get Abby back into a rear facing seat again :)

  7. Good pointers. I kept my second one in rear until I realized that he has been twisting his neck trying to watch TV (his sister was watching) the entire drive to Canada (13 hours)

  8. Before my son was born, I was a parent that thought they couldn't ride rear-facing if their feet touched the back of the seat.

    Luckily, I learned better before we ever reached that point. My now 27-month-old, 37" tall toddler is still happily riding rear-facing with plenty of room to grow. And I assure you, my very verbal two-year-old sees EVERYTHING out the windows and tells me ALL about it. He's not missing out in the slightest. :-P

    I've seen this saying everywhere, from blogs to bumper stickers: My child is not the minimum, he rides to the max!

    We'll be riding rear-facing until he's too heavy or (more likely) too tall. Then he'll be harnessed until he can't be any longer.

  9. This is a very important topic and I am glad to see someone posting it for everyone to see.


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