Are Rotating Seats Safe For All Children
There is no clear-cut answer to this question, and there never will be because there is no data to support the claims that one type of seat is safer than the other. However, according to many safety experts and researchers, it can be dangerous to rotate a child under 12 months old because their necks are not strong enough to support the weight of their heads. The majority of car seats come with an expiration date, after which you should not use them anymore. Always check your car seats expiration date to see if you can use it longer. If your child is under the age of two, you should consider getting a rear-facing seat to be on the safe side.
Why The New Car Seat Recommendation Matters
This is fantastic news, says Sharalyn Crossfield, an Ottawa-based Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor. We know from statistics that kids aged 0-2 have higher injury numbers, and thats because theyre coming out of rear-facing too soon.
Theres no debate that sitting rear-facing is saferstats and crash tests have proven it over and over again. The recommendation to keep kids rear-facing beyond age two results from the need to support the young childs posterior torso, neck, head and pelvis and to distribute crash forces over the entire body, says the AAP. Developmental considerations, including incomplete vertebral ossification, more horizontally oriented spinal facet joints, and excessive ligamentous laxity put young children at risk for head and spinal cord injury.
How do rear-facing car seats address this risk? Mainly, they support a childs head, preventing the relatively large head from moving independently of the proportionately smaller neck. That said, rear-facing is safer for adults, too. Crossfield, for one, always chooses to sit rear-facing on trains because she knows that in an event of a crash, her legs are likely to absorb the impact opposed to her spine.
Other countries have already figured this out. In Sweden, for example, almost all children sit facing the back way beyond age two. Everyone does it there, says Crossfield. Its not a lawthey just all know its safer.
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.
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A Look At The Consistent Rules And Recommendations
These regulations and recommendations are the same across Canada.
- Never position any child in a cars front row until its legal to do so in your jurisdiction. Dashboard-mounted air bags can be fatal to children. The only legally permitted exception is when the vehicle has no back seat, such as in a roadster or a single-cab pick-up.Many modern vehicles without rear seats have a sensor on the passenger seat that disables the airbags if a childs weight is detected. If you know your vehicle has this feature, then while its not ideal nor nearly as safe as a rear seat position, a child is permitted to sit in the front passenger seat provided hes still in an age- and weight-appropriate car seat.
- For a single child, the centre middle position in the second row is the safest place in the entire vehicle.
- Dont think you can save money by buying a car seat in the U.S. and bringing it home. Their safety regulations are different than ours, so seats bought there are not legal here.
- Dont use a second-hand car seat, either, unless you can be completely certain it isnt expired and youre aware of its history. Car seats are considered compromised as soon as theyve been in even a minor incident because of the fragility of the plastic and compression foam. If you dont know, its a no-go.
Your Guide To Car Seat Safety
Keeping your little one safe and sound in the car is a vital part of being a parent. From the first drive home from the hospital to all of the little league practices in between, you want to make sure your child is as safe as possible in the car.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has changed some of the car seat recommendations in recent years. Heres a round-up of everything you need to know about when to move your child from rear to front-facing along with some helpful car safety tips.
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Bestall In 1 Or 4 In 1 Car Seat: Gracos 4ever
These seats are handy if you dont want to purchase different seats for your kid as they grow. Gracos 4Ever 4 in 1 Car Seat takes the seat game to another level. It can be used as a rear facing one, a front facing one, and two types of booster seats during the transition, which is adjustable and very economical for new parents. So it will stay with you until your kid learns to use the seat belt.
It is an excellent forward facing seat for older children. Once youve crossed the rear facing car seat stage, you can start using the booster seat. Kids who weigh around 40 pounds can use Gracos transition 3 in 1 Harness Booster seat. It has a 5 point harness that keeps your kid safe. Once they can safely use seat belts, you can let it go.
A combination of a car seating system and a stroller is called a travel system. Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System with onBoard 35 Infant Car Seat is effortless to use. The easy fold and stretch action will make the transition quick. It is lightweight and convenient to carry around, and the seat has several reclining angles for comfort.
How Safe Are Rotating Car Seats
Car safety is a very important topic, so it is important to research before using a car seat. Just because you have chosen a car seat from one of the top brands like Britax, Dorelco, Kohls, Seacrest, or Sunshine Kids does not mean it is safe for your child. Many other factors need to be taken into account when choosing the best car seat. The first thing you should know is how safe rotating car seats are for infants and toddlers. Rotating seats allow children to move around more easily by allowing them to ride facing forward on their front straps while supporting their back harnesses on their backs.
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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.
Car Safety Seat Recommendations
Child car seats protect children from birth to their early teens against death and injury.
- Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children.
- One-third of children killed in car accidents are not in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.
The Mississippi State Department of Health conducts safety seat checks and educates parents in the proper installation of car safety seats.
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How To Keep Your Child Entertained While Rear
Rear-facing doesnt have to be boring! Older kids can ride quite upright so they can see out the side and rear windows. If theres a head rest blocking your childs view out the back window, you can usually remove it. By 9-12 months your baby knows youre there when you talk to them from the front even though they cant see you. So you can calm and entertain your child with songs, stories, and for older children games of I spy, all while theyre rear-facing.
Weve got lots of suggestions for great car seat & travel toys for babies & toddlers because sometimes we all get a little cranky when were bored!
When Is My Child Too Big For Rear
A child can be either too heavy, too tall, or bothbut all of this depends on the specifications of the car seat. Each car seat has its own height and weight limits for rear-facing children. Most convertible seats allow children to sit rear-facing up to 35, 40 or 50 pounds. The height limit for most rear-facing car seats is that there must be at least 1 inch of room between the top of the childs head and the top of the car seat. This inch ensures that as the child slides up the seat in a crash, his head will stay protected.
Given the design of most car seats, the majority of children become too tall for rear-facing seats before they become too heavy. Therefore, when you purchase a convertible car seat, try to select one that is taller in seated height.
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Checking The Fit Of The Harness
There are important differences between how to adjust the harness in a rear-facing seat and in a forward-facing seat.
Adjust the harness straps so they are at or just above your child’s shoulders. Some child car seats allow you to adjust the harness height by moving the headrest up or down. You may find this easier to do before you install the child car seat in your vehicle.
As your child grows, check the fit and readjust the harness.
Should I Use A Convertible Seat
Convertible seats are designed to protect kids:
- from birth up to at least 40 pounds facing backward
- up to 65 pounds or even 80 pounds facing forward, depending on the model
Convertible seats are placed in different positions depending on a child’s age and size:
- They face toward the rear until a baby is ready to face forward .
- Then, they can be turned around and “converted” to a forward-facing seat.
Some car seats are known as “all-in-one” or “3-in-one” because they convert from rear-facing to front-facing to booster with the harness removed.
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What If A Baby Is Unhappy Riding Rear
You can always distract a whining baby by offering them something else. The same formula works even in a car or when you are traveling. Give them a toy that they can play with, put some shades up so that the sun wont hit them or try to play some songs, and talk to them in a soothing voice. If you are on a long journey, try to find them some good company. Probably, a grandma wholl keep talking to them or a friend wholl crack some kid jokes. When you cant do that, give them a cartoon to watch, but always be sure about when you can turn a car seat around. It is not when your child is unhappy.
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.
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What About Kids Who Get Motion Sick
Irrespective of the rear facing car seat age limit, kids end up feeling nauseous when they sit in these seats. To avoid that, help them relax or put them to sleep. Keep the temperature of the car low and cool. Do not feed them with heavy meals before the journey, and if you believe in home remedies, give them something good to smell. Dont let them use gadgets as that can worsen the nauseous situation.
Knowledge Is Power When It Comes To Car Child Seats
Stage 3 refers to a booster seat used in conjunction with the cars built-in seat belt. Again, its recommended to put this off for as long as possible because the seat is no longer doing any of the work to keep your child safe at this stage. Rather, the purpose of the booster is to ensure that the seat belt follows the correct path the shoulder strap needs to sit squarely on the childs shoulder, not climbing up onto the neck, and the lap belt should fall low across the hips, not higher onto the torso.
Its therefore critical a child is developmentally ready to make this switch not only in weight and height, but also behaviour. A kid who cant be trusted not to pull at or unbuckle a seat belt or tuck the shoulder belt behind their back should remain in a five-point harness until they can be.
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When Do I Turn The Car Seat Seat Around
With the massive amount of literature thats out there about car seat safety, its easy for parents to start to feel a little overwhelmed about what type of seat to use when, and how it should be installed. Some parents see turning their childs seat to forward-facing as a milestone to complete around her first birthday, but the most recent recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep their children rear-facing until theyre at least 2 years old.
Why are parents making the switch sooner?
Though the current recommendation is to keep car seats rear-facing until at least the childs second birthday, the AAP recommendation that came before said that childrens seats shouldnt be turned until the child was at least a year old and weighed 20 pounds at least. For parents with older children, this may be the recommendation they heard first, or that sticks in their mind. Beyond that, most state laws only require children to be rear-facing until their first birthday. Only four US states require that childrens seats be rear-facing until age 2. Between the language of the previous recommendation and minimum age laws in most places, its easy to see why many parents decide that one year is the right age to turn the car seat around so young children can face forward like the rest of the family.
How long should my child stay rear-facing?
What are the advantages of keeping my childs car seat rear-facing?
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.
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Checking To Make Sure Your Forward
Try to install your child car seat as tightly as possible, to keep your child safer in a sudden stop or crash:
- Grab both sides of the child car seat where the seat belt or UAS belt is threaded through the child car seat
- Try to move the child car seat from side-to-side and front to back. It should not move more than 2.5 cm