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New Guidelines Recommend Extended Rear-Facing for Safer Car Journeys
As parents, we all want to keep our little ones safe, especially when on the road. Car accidents are unfortunately all too common, and even more so with young children in the car. However, there is now a new recommendation that could make a big difference in protecting our children: extended rear-facing car seats.
What is Extended Rear-Facing?
Extended rear-facing refers to the practice of keeping children in rear-facing car seats for longer than the previous recommendation of two years old. This new recommendation suggests keeping children in rear-facing seats until they reach the maximum weight and height limit allowed by the specific seat, which is typically around four years old.
This new guideline is supported by a wealth of research that shows that rear-facing ( Discover the Revolutionary Benefits of Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats ) car seats are highly effective at protecting young children in the event of a crash. In fact, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who ride in rear-facing car seats are 75% less likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car accident than those in forward-facing seats.
Why is Extended Rear-Facing Important?
It’s well known that young children are much more vulnerable in a car crash than adults. Their small, developing bodies are not equipped to handle the impact of a collision, and their heads are disproportionately large compared to their bodies. This is why rear-facing car seats are so important – they provide support for a child’s head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash.
By keeping children rear-facing for longer, we can give them even more protection. The head and neck of a child under four years old are particularly vulnerable in a crash, so keeping them in a rear-facing seat until they outgrow it can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death.
How to Choose the Right Rear-Facing Car Seat
When choosing a rear-facing car seat, make sure to check the weight and height limits carefully. Many convertible car seats ( Unlock the Surprising Secrets of Convertible Car Seats! ) can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing, but always make sure to use the seat in the appropriate mode for your child’s age, weight, and height.
Additionally, make sure to install the seat correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also seek help from a certified child passenger safety technician to ensure that your car seat is installed correctly and fits your child properly.
The Bottom Line
The new recommendation for extended rear-facing car seats is an important step in protecting our children on the road. By keeping children rear-facing for longer, we can help prevent serious injuries and fatalities in the event of a crash.
When choosing a rear-facing car seat, make sure to choose one with a weight and height limit that is appropriate for your child’s age and size. Additionally, make sure to install the seat correctly and seek help from a child passenger safety technician if needed.
By following these guidelines and keeping our children rear-facing for longer, we can help ensure safer car journeys for all.
Safer Rear-Facing Car Journeys FAQ
Q: Why is rear-facing the safest way for children to travel by car?
A: Rear-facing car seats provide better protection to a child’s head, neck, and spinal cord in the event of a crash. When a car crashes, the child’s body moves forward, and the car seat also moves forward. In a rear-facing position, the car seat will cradle the child’s body and head, and absorb the impact.
Q: What age is appropriate for rear-facing car seats?
A: Experts recommend keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, until they are at least 2 years old or when they reach the maximum weight or height allowed for the car seat.
Q: What types of car seats are available for rear-facing journeys?
A: Infants should always travel in rear-facing infant car seats that are specifically designed for their height and weight. Once they exceed the weight limit or height limit of their infant seat, they can then be placed in a rear-facing convertible car seat ( Shocking Truth Revealed: Convertible Car Seats are a Parentâs Secret Weapon ) which can be adjusted to accommodate growth.
Q: How do I install a rear-facing car seat?
A: Refer to the instruction manual that comes with the car seat and also check your vehicle manual to ensure you are following the correct installation process. Make sure the car seat is firmly attached with little to no movement when you check it at the base and where the seatbelt is holding it in place.
Q: Can I use a rear-facing car seat ( 5 Shocking Facts About Extended Rear-Facing Guidelines Every Parent Should Know ) in the front seat of my car?
A: It is not recommended to place any car seat in the front seat of the vehicle since the airbag is a safety hazard for smaller children.
Q: What should I do if I have been in a car accident and my child was in the rear-facing car seat?
A: If you have been in a car accident and the car seat was in the car, it should be replaced even if it does not appear to be damaged. There could be micro-cracks or weaknesses that you can’t see that would reduce the protection of the car seat in case of another accident.
Q: What should I do if I see my child’s head flopping forward while in a rear-facing car seat?
A: If your child’s head flops forward, double-check the recline angle. Refer to your car seat manual to make sure you are following the correct angle as this can happen when the seat’s angle is too upright.
Q: Can I allow my child to have extra padding or wear a coat while in the car seat?
A: Winter coats or additional padding should never be placed between the child and the car seat straps. The added layers can prevent the car seat from properly fitting the child in a crash. Dress your child in layers and then buckle them into the car seat.
Q: Can I reuse my child’s rear-facing car seat for my next child?
A: If the car seat was not involved in any crashes, is not expired and still meets safety standards, then it can be reused.
Q: Is there a maximum time limit for a child to use a rear-facing car seat?
A: No, there is no time limit for a child to use a rear-facing car seat. However, depending on the car seat you use, they may reach the weight or height limit before they reach an age where a forward-facing car seat is appropriate.
Q: Is it ever safe to turn a child’s car seat forward-facing before the recommended age or maximum weight limit?
A: No, it is never safe to turn a child’s car seat forward-facing before the recommended age or weight limit. Your child should remain rear-facing as recommended until they reach the maximum weight or height limit allowed for the car seat.
Q: Can rear-facing car seats be used on airplanes?
A: It depends on the car seat and the age and size of the child. Most infant and convertible car seats are FAA-approved, which means you can use them on airplanes. However, be sure to check with the airline ahead of time to ensure that your car seat can be appropriately positioned on the airplane.
Safer Rear-Facing Car Journeys: Recommended Safety Car Seats
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer. This can help reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. Here are some recommended safety car seats available on Amazon:
- Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat – This car seat can be used in the rear-facing mode for children weighing 4-50 pounds and in the forward-facing mode for children weighing 22-65 pounds. It features a 4-position extension panel to provide extra legroom for your child.
- Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat – This car seat can be used in the rear-facing mode for children weighing 5-40 pounds and in the forward-facing mode for children weighing 20-65 pounds. It features a ClickTight installation system that makes it easy to install securely.
- Diono Radian 3QXT Latch, All-in-One Convertible Car Seat ( Shocking Booster Seat Secrets Parents Need to Know ) for children weighing up to 120 pounds. – This car seat can be used in the rear-facing mode for children weighing 4-50 pounds and in the forward-facing mode for children weighing 20-65 pounds. It can also be used as a booster seat
- Chicco NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat – This car seat can be used in the rear-facing mode for children weighing 5-40 pounds and in the forward-facing mode for children weighing 22-65 pounds. It features a 9-position headrest and a 9-position recline to help ensure a proper fit.
- Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat – This car seat can be used in the rear-facing mode for children weighing 5-40 pounds and in the forward-facing mode for children weighing 22-65 pounds. It can also be used as a booster seat for children weighing up to 120 pounds.
Pros & Cons of Safer Rear-Facing Car Journeys
Safer rear-facing car journeys prove to be a significant advantage for infants and young children as it offers better protection, comfort, and a longer time frame to keep them in the appropriate car seat position, which is mandated by law in many countries. With easy installation and improved safety, rear-facing car journeys have aged to a go-to for parents and caregivers. At the same time, concerns regarding limited visibility, less interaction, and a larger size make it a less appealing option for some parents and caregivers. Overall, rear-facing car seats provide a safe and secure means of transportation for young children, making it worth considering as an option for your next car journey.