Keep the Child Car Seat Facing Back As Long As Possible

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new recommendation : “Children should ride in a rearward facing car seat for as long as possible , within the limits of their car seat.”

This is an update from the group’s previous recommendation that children should sit facing backwards for at least two years. This complicates things a little, as all car seats are individual and you will have to look for the specific weight and height requirements set by your manufacturer. However, you may know that your child’s second birthday is probably not the time to flip your chair forward. As the AAP notes, those who should sit facing back include ” virtually all children under 2 and most children under 4.

I just checked the owner’s manual for my car seat. A new recommendation is that children using our seat, the Diono Radian R120, must ride rearward facing if they weigh less than 45 pounds and have their head less than an inch and a half from the top of the seat. My daughter is taller than this, but barely, and she is five and a half years old.

Rear-facing weight restrictions for other popular car seat models:

Graco Convertible Car Seat Extend2Fit : 50 lbs

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Seat : 40 lbs

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Seat : £ 40

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 : 40 lbs

Evenflo SafeMax Platinum Universal Convertible Car Seat : £ 40

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat : 40 lbs

Recommendations are constantly evolving based on new research and safety testing. And research continues to show that facing back is safer. As Consumer Reports explains, the rear-facing seat “distributes the impact force more evenly across the back of the car seat and the child’s body.” It also “limits head movement, reducing the likelihood of neck injury and keeping the child more within the child restraint housing.”

Some parents may object to this recommendation, believing that it is possible that children begin to hate sitting facing backwards after early childhood, or that their legs are too long to be in this position. However, kids really don’t mind looking with their backs if they don’t know the other way around (it’s for their safety after all) and their legs are fine. They can be placed on the seat, crossed, or hung on the sides – however they feel most comfortable. In addition, shriveled legs pose a relatively low risk compared to spinal cord injuries.

Bottom line: Wait as long as possible to flip the child seat forward. Explains AAP: “In most families, milestones and transitions are viewed in a positive light. Child passenger safety is one of the few areas where the next step is not “positive” and where delaying the transition is best practice. ”


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