I can’t even begin to explain how important this post is. I was (and still am, most of the time) clueless on most things regarding parenting. When we took our childbirth/new baby/breastfeeding classes, we were visited by a local CHP officer who explained to us the importance of car seat safety. Not only did she tell us what she has seen on the job (I won’t go into detail but it is heartbreaking) but she showed us HOW to install a car seat properly and gave us basic tips to buckling up baby. Little did I know how many of us didn’t know this life changing information.
“One year, 20 pounds” We have all heard that right? You can turn your child forward facing after one year and once they reach 20 pounds. That is the law.
But is that truly the safest? No. Not even close.
This may be one of the most common—and most dangerous—mistakes a parent can make when it comes to car seat safety. As of 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids remain rear-facing to aminimum of two years old, regardless of height or weight, and should continue to rear-face until they outgrow the seat in that mode. Children’s vertebrae are not fused until well into early childhood, and this makes them prone to serious injury or even death if involved in an accident. Basically, if the crash could result in whiplash in an adult, it could kill a small child. Rear-facing provides more support to the child’s neck during the initial impact. For children under two years, rear facing is more than 500% safer than forward facing.
This quote is from this awesome article “10 Car Seat Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making” PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, did I say PLEASE? Read this article. It is so true. Most of us don’t know we are making the mistakes that could mean our child’s life or death.
You might say, ” oh but my baby hates rear facing.” So does mine, and guess what? He is staying that way for another 9 months AT LEAST.
You might say, ” What about their legs, they are too long!” Haven’t you seen kids sit “criss cross applesauce” for ages? Kids are flexible. They will be fine, don’t worry.
You might say, “But it’s not the law, why should I follow it?” It may not be the law but it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which I’m sure you trust for multiple other reasons regarding your child’s health and development, so why not trust them with this aspect of safety as well?
The reason I am sharing this and laying out the plain facts is simply to inform those who don’t know or have questions. I didn’t know this before hearing the information from that particular CHP officer. It is too important to not share.
Whenever Grady is screaming in his car seat (which is pretty much every time he is in it) I remind myself of the staggering numbers. I can’t take that risk knowing those numbers. Ultimately it is up to you as your child’s parent, to make the decisions that you feel are best.
Here are some awesome resources to follow for car seat safety!
Car Seats for the Littles / @carseatsforthelittles
See HERE for a review on my favorite convertible car seat!
I hope this is helpful for you!