How Long Should A Child Stay Rear Facing
The best practice recommendation is to keep children rear facing for as long as possible until the child outgrows the rear-facing limits of the child restraint. Sometimes this may not happen until a child is 3 or 4 sometimes even older.
The American Academy of Pediatrics guideline since March 2011 is to keep the children rear facing until they are a minimum of 2 years old. Using a rear-facing car seat longer reduces the risks of serious injury. Update: AAP now also makes the above recommendation to keep your child rear facing for as long as possible, to the upper limits of the child restraint.
How Much Safer Is Rear Facing Than Forward Facing
Car seat research has shown that children up to 23 months old are about 75 percent less likely to die or sustain serious injury in a rear-facing car seat than a forward-facing one. Thats because a rear-facing seat spreads the crash force more evenly across the back of the car seat and the childs body.
Also Check: How To Make Car Freshies
When Should A Child Face The Front Of The Car Seat
Forget about age when it comes to determining when to turn your childs car seat to face the front of the car. As of 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children remain in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat
Recommended Reading: Fl Lost Title
Recommended Reading: Can Onstar Locate My Car
The Dreaded Motion Sickness Won’t It Help To Turn Around My Child
The long and short: most kids do not puke less when forward-facing compared to rear-facing.
Weve got lots of information on motion-sickness over here including an explanation of why it is believed to occur, things you can do to decrease the chance of your kid puking, and how to minimize the mess and clean up if your kid does puke.
When Can A Child Face Forward In A Car Seat
You should keep your child in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. But instead of using age as a guideline, keep the following in mind:
- When they reach either the weight or height limit. Your child should stay rear-facing until she has hit the maximum height or weight for that position, says the AAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . Most rear-facing infant seats can accommodate children until they reach 28 to 35 pounds or 30 to 35 inches, but keep in mind that many children will reach the maximum height before they do the maximum weight. Once a child outgrows a rear-facing infant seat, she can switch to a convertible seat in a rear-facing position, which can often be used until a child is between 40 and 50 pounds. You can find your seats height and weight limits on the tag or in the manufacturer instructions.
- Not before age 2. Years ago, age 2 was considered the standard time to switch to the forward-facing position. Now, its considered the absolute minimum, because most 2-year-olds wont be adequately protected from a crash in a forward-facing seat. Rather than basing your switch on the calendar, do so only when your child reaches the maximum height or weight limit for the rear-facing position of her convertible seat. For many, this doesnt happen until age 3 or 4.
Also Check: What Does Abs Stand For In A Car
Bringing Your Newborn Home In A Rear
Youll need a current, infant seat properly installed before you can leave the hospital with your newborn baby.
Typically at the hospital, youll need to have whoever is driving you home, bring up your childs car seat for inspection. The nurse will have you place your baby in the car seat and they will help you make sure they are securely fastened.
While a generous relative may offer to give you their old car seat, there are expiration dates on car seats so youll want to check the manufacturers website.
When you install your car seat base, you can bring it to a fire or police station for a safety check as well. These professionals are trained in car seat safety and they can help you make sure your car seat is installed correctly.
I Already Turned My Kid Forward
Yes! When we know better, we must do better. A few months ago when you turned her forward facing you did what you thought was best, but now you know differently. Avoid regrets, and give your child the best protection.
Many parents worry that it will be a disaster turning an older child back rear-facing. Here is one moms experience turning her almost-3-year-old son back rear-facing:
I was initially very hesitant to move my almost three year old son to rear facing from forward facing. He has been sitting forward facing for over a year and can be strong willed when it comes to change. However, after hearing how much safer it is I was willing to try. The first three or so drives were very difficult as he asked to look out mama and dadas window almost the entire time. We ignored and distracted and I was about to give up when I noticed that although he still complained about sitting rear facing it happened less and less. Now he asks maybe once every other drive if he can sit forward facing and was even fine the other day when his friend joined us and sat forward facing. It was a tough first few drives, but I am very happy we did it and I feel so much safer.
Also Check: Does Aaa Ship Cars
You May Like: How To Diagnose A Dead Car Battery
How Do I Use A Booster Seat
- A booster seat positions your child so that the seat belt fits across the strong bones of the hips and pelvis and not the abdomen, to protect your child from injury.
- While seated in the booster seat, the lap belt should fit low and snug across your childs hips, and not up on their belly.
- The shoulder portion of the seat belt should be positioned over the chest and collarbone, staying between your childs neck and shoulder so that it does not touch the neck.
- Follow the directions for the booster seat to know how to route the seat belt under any armrests or through any belt guides, as directed.
Recommended Reading: Can You Lease On Carvana
Why Should You Keep Your Child In A Rear
Keeping your child in the rear-facing seat for as long as possible ensures they are as safe as possible.
Here are a few reasons why rear-facing seats excel in safety:
- Young children are more at risk for head and spinal cord injuries because their bones and ligaments are still developing. Because of this, their heads are typically larger than their necks, which means they need extra support. Rear-facing car seats give the best support to a childs head, neck, and spine.
- If you are in a front-end accident , a rear-facing car seat allows your childs head, neck, and spine to move evenly into the seat, not away from it, which could cause damage.
- Rear-facing car seats are also better at protecting a childs arms and legs. Ben Hoffman, a nationally recognized injury prevention specialist and pediatrician at the Doernbecher Childrens Hospital, Oregon Health & Science University explains, In a forward-facing car seat during an accident, your childs arms and legs fly forward and are more likely to be injured. In a rear-facing car seat, the chance of injuries to the arms and legs in a crash is less than 1 in 10,000.
It is also interesting to note that children in Sweden are required to stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are four years old. The child death rate from automobile accidents in Sweden is nearly zero!
You May Like: Can You Add Someone To An Existing Car Loan
Let’s Talk About When Should You Turn A Car Seat Around
Do you wonder if its time to turn baby around? Theyre getting bigger maybe even kicking the seat and their legs look – well – cramped. It used to be the common standard to turn your baby at 1 years old or when they were over 20 lbs but that has changed.
Car seats can be confusing! Especially when you get conflicting information from friends, each state has a different standard, and your mom says one thing and your mother-in-law says something else!
Experts now recommend keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat until they hit the maximum height and weight requirements for your car seat. And states have now all adopted a law mandating rear facing until at least two.
According to a study in Injury Prevention, researchers found that children were 75% less likely to be severely injured or killed in a crash when riding in rear-facing seats. Volvo also conducted a study in Sweden that found when children up to age 4 remained in a rear-facing car seat the risk of injury was lowered by 20%.
Bonus Tip: Make sure to pay close attention to and/or laws. Some car seat manuals such as booster seats, say 8 years old OR 80 pounds . This can cause some confusion at times, so read carefully!
If you arent sure about height and weight requirements for your seat simply Google the name of the brand to find the manufacturer requirements. Make sure to check your local state laws as well.
Read next article
Why Rear Facing Car Seat Are Safer
Why rear facing baby car seats considered the safest option for infants?
According to the Rear Facing vs Forward Facing Statistics, the child riding rear-facing does not get any severe injuries in violent car crashes compared to those riding forward-facing.
Moreover, rear facing is safe because
- they are fragile, and most of their body parts are still under development
- They are unable to protect themselves in the best way
- They are unable to hold their head up independently
- Their vertebral column doesnt have developed enough instead in the developing phase. If they get a spine injury in a violent car crash, it would be impossible for them to recover ever.
Therefore, being parents, you should decide on your childs car seat and when can your child face forward in it.
If you are interested to reveal more about baby car seats, you should read our article Car seat ages and stages.
Read Also: How Long To Jump A Car
But My Childs Convertible Car Seat Only Goes To 20 Or 22 Pounds Rear
Your car seat is confusing you! Really! All convertible seats on the market in the US have for many, many years allowed rear-facing until at least 30 pounds, with most going to 40 or more pounds rear-facing. However, the labels on the car seat confuse many families, leading them to think a child must be forward-facing starting at 22 lbs.
Why? Because our government requires manufacturers to include some exceptionally confusing wording on the labels of every convertible car seat . The sentence that confuses most people is Use only in a rear-facing position when using it with an infant weighing less than 20 lbs. What this sentence is trying to say, is that for kids who weigh less than 20 lbs. the only direction you are allowed to install this car seat is rear-facing i.e. a child under 20 pounds may never ride forward-facing in this car seat. However, many people confuse this to mean that after 20 pounds you must turn the car seat forward-facing which is NOT what it is trying to say.
In another sentence, likely very close to where you found the confusing one, youll see the rear-facing maximum weight for your convertible seat, likely 40 pounds or even higher.
Car Seat Safety By Age: Toddlers In Forward
Narrator: In the event of a crash, a child who was properly restrained in a car seat will be held in place and come to a more gradual stop with the vehicle, which dramatically reduces the risk of serious injury. If you’re in a crash with a child who was not properly restrained, the child will continue to move at the same speed as the vehicle, until hitting something which slows them down.
If the child is not properly restrained, death or serious injury could occur. Safety experts recommend children stay rear facing until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the car seat. Most children won’t reach those limits until they are two years old or more. Children who are turned forward facing too soon are more likely to be injured in a crash.
In some states, the law requires that children ride rear-facing until at least age two. Always check your car seat manual for maximum weight and height guidelines and refer to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association for updated child passenger safety laws in your state. When your child is ready to ride facing the front of the car, you have several options. When front-facing, these seats can be used up until your child reaches the maximum weight or height of the car seat.
Also Check: How Much Could I Sell My Car For
What Are The Types Of Car Seats
Infant-only seats fit newborns and smaller infants best. You’ll need to buy another seat when your baby outgrows it. Infant-only seats are designed to protect babies from birth until they reach up to 35 pounds , depending on the model.
Infant car seats should always be installed to face the rear of the car. A small child is much less likely to die or be seriously injured when in a rear-facing seat. That’s because the back of the safety seat will cradle the baby’s head, neck, and torso in a crash. At this age, a child’s neck usually isn’t strong enough to support the head in a crash.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight and height limits recommended by the seat’s manufacturer. Safety experts say to do this based on a child’s size, not age. Small children can stay rear-facing until age 3 or 4.
Infant-only safety seats are convenient because they’re designed to double as carriers, chairs, or rockers when not used in the car. Many models detach right from the base, letting you leave the base installed in the car. Some can be clicked into strollers to be wheeled around. If your baby is in the infant safety seat outside of the car, never put the seat on a high surface like a kitchen counter, a dresser, or changing.
I Thought My Child Could Turn Forward
This is NOT correct. Many years ago, in the days before the iPhone was invented, the minimum to turn forward facing was 1 year and 20 pounds.
In 2011 both the AAP and NHTSA updated their recommendations to reflect the latest research in child passenger safety. The AAP now recommends that kids sit rear-facing until at least age 2 and for longer if possible. NHTSA now recommends: Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seats manufacturer.
Read Also: What Could Be Draining My Car Battery
Don’t Miss: Do It Yourself Car Wash
Myself And Others Will Be
Yes, a car seat is another thing to schlep with you on the endless trek through the airport. What do we use to keep the car straight or make it turn? When to turn around babys car seat. This link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.
If your car doesnt have a control to adjust the seat height, sit on a cushion to help keep your hips level with your knees.
A convertible car seatalso referred to as a toddler seatis designed to face either backward or forward in the car.
At What Weight Do You Turn The Car Seat Around
- Abdullah ShahrulWhile 1 year and 20 pounds used to be the standard for when to flip car seats around, most experts now recommend using rear-facing child seats until children outgrow the top weight and height recommendations of the car seat manufacturer. This means your child may be rear-facing until well beyond their second birthday.
Also Check: How To Deep Clean Cloth Car Seats
When To Turn Your Baby’s Car Seat Around
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all children should ride in a rear-facing seat as long as possiblespecifically until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat model. Again, there is no age limit it’s based on height and weight.
“Most convertible seats have limits that will allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more,” says the organization. “When infants outgrow their rear-facing-only seat, a convertible seat installed rear facing is needed.”
Dr. Hoffman agrees with this recommendation. “Our advice is you stay rear-facing as long as possible because of physicsuntil the seat says you need to turn around,” he says. “There’s no reason given the seats we have on the market now a child should ever have to be forward-facing before their second birthday.” He adds: “The basic principle for everything is you delay transitions as long as possible.”
The good news is that because of the updated recommendations to keep children rear-facing for as long as possible, many car seat manufacturers offer options for extended rear-facing that will keep your child comfortable and safe.