I hate to even bring this up

Katherine - posted on 01/07/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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So I'm posting in 'my' communities and run across a conversation about car seats. When should I put them front facing? How dangerous is it to put them front as soon as they reach the legal limit? Sigh....I was the same way with my first. Yay!! She's 21lbs and so many inches, let's switch her. I did not know how much danger I was putting her in. Now she's 4, I still have her in a 5 point and I plan to keep my 9mo rear facing for as long as possible. I know laws are different in different countries, so my question is: What do you think? What have you done? What WILL you do?

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Geralyn - posted on 01/07/2010

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The laws are always slow to catch up to the recommendations. The recommendations since 2006 have been to stay rear-facing until the baby has reached the maximum limit of the convertible car seat (usually about 30 to 35 lbs...) or until the baby is within 1" of the top of the car seat.



I joined "Car Seat Safety - Questions and Answers " last year - unfortunately it is a very small group. The word really needs to get out. Here are some posts that the administrator had on the posting there:



Car crashes are the #2 killer of children under 1 year of age, and the #1 killer of children 1-14.



Here are several links to support keeping your child rear facing for as long as possible.



aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/c...tr...

www.carseat.org/Resources/633.pdf

www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing...

www.car-safety.org/rearface.html

www.cpsafety.com/articles/RFAlbum.aspx

www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/re...ci...

myangelsaliandpeanut.tripod.com/id5.html

momtoaliandshae.tripod.com/keepingkidssa...

www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm

www.aap.org/family/1to2yrs.htm

www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/travelsafe...



www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868

www.carseatsite.com/rear-face_article.ht...



Here's an article reinforcing WHY Rear facing is BEST

www.stuff.co.nz/4144421a10.html



Here are a few crash test links to show you the difference in rear facing vs forward facing:



www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_seiten/...ic...







Here is a crash test of a 12 month old RFing

smg.photobucket.com/albums/v163/jen_nah/...">smg.photobucket.com/albums/v163/jen_nah/...¤t=video06A_MGA_213_RearFace-Convertib.flv



Then, here is the SAME 12 month old FFing

smg.photobucket.com/albums/v163/jen_nah/...">smg.photobucket.com/albums/v163/jen_nah/...¤t=video06B_MGA_213_ForwardFace-Conver.flv





42% of accidents occur in rural settings. 25% of them occur within 5 minutes of your home.



Autopsy reports have shown that children under 2 years old are at 4 times the risk of Internal Decapitation when forward facing. What is Internal Decapitation??



Wikipedia says this:

Internal decapitation, atlantooccipital dislocation, describes the rare process by which the skull separates from the spinal column during severe head injury. This injury is nearly always fatal, since it usually involves nerve damage or severance of the spinal cord. Hanging relies on allowing the subject to break their neck under their own weight.



When a child is RFing, the BACK of their carseat--the part that goes behind their back and head--take the brunt of the crash force. In a FF car seat, the CHILD takes the brunt of the crash force.

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Katherine - posted on 01/19/2010

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Oh right, I know those damn things take up the entire back seat. What a pain!!

Brenda - posted on 01/18/2010

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I looked at it but its so new consumer reports doesnt even have it listed yet. I even found a place that listed the seats on how well they fit in cars. My car had about three seats that fit right, and none that I'd ever heard of. It really is hard when you have to think about a small car. We couldn't even think of using the middle spot for our little man because of my four year old's seat. And someone had to be able to drive with him in the car....

Katherine - posted on 01/17/2010

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Hmmm maybe google the best carseat for a compact car? My husband is 6'4 so when he's a passenger he rams into my 4yo. That really is a conundrum. My 10mo is in the middle, but I have a 4 door sedan-like vehicle. RF at 4 and 5? Now that's EXTENDED. What a mess, I never thought about how difficult it was to pick a good car seat, have it fit, and still be able to have someone drive. Sheesh and the safety factor.

Geralyn - posted on 01/16/2010

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I think you are right. I cannot believe how expensive mini-vans are... [I can't believe I was looking at pricing them!]... a vehicle that bk (before kids) I swore I would never be caught dead driving. If I am gonna spend $30K+ on a vehicle, I can assure you it will not be a mini-van.... Ridiculous....

Brenda - posted on 01/15/2010

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My Ford Escort was better, but this Neon...wow. I had a Chevy Malibu, and seats fit fine in it, but I know a lot of people have trouble with the Toyotas especially. l think they're all made for vans. :)

Geralyn - posted on 01/15/2010

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Brenda and Lisa, I have a Toyota 4Runner, and we have to put the seat, not in the middle (which is the better position), but behind the passenger seat, and it does not leave a lot of room for the passenger's legs either. I can't put it behind my driver's seat because it puts me too close to the wheel. The seats do take up space. I am not sure that many vehicles have sufficient room....

Brenda - posted on 01/15/2010

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Lisa: I know how you feel on the small car thing. We have a 95 Dodge Neon, and the bucket seat would barely fit. We had to put it on the passenger side because the seat had to be all the way forward. The Scenera we purchased almost didn't fit without pushing it all the way up. I think you have to take into consideration weight, but when they are small like your girls, I think you can then take age into consideration as well. All in all, you do what you can, and car seats are just not made with smaller cars in mind. My boys outrun the weight limits long before I have to worry about the age too much, but also the height restriction (which they do have, my scenara has a height restriction, can't think of what it is at the moment).

Minnie - posted on 01/15/2010

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I was reading in the car seat safety community and noticed that there were some who had their three and four year olds still rear facing. I think the general consensus is until they out grow the weight-limits of the car seat for rear-facing.



So my conundrum is- Evelyn, four in May, is 26lb, 38 1/2 inches. Her car seat goes up to 40lb rear facing. I don't expect her to reach that weight until six years at her rate.



And what does one do when they drive a compact? With people becoming more conscious of the need to save energy, and with the economy, more are driving smaller cars. Adelaide, my 15 month old, 17lb, 30 inches, is rear-facing, and she doesn't have a particularly large car seat. But at the angle it is rear-facing, we need to push the front seat really far forward. It doesn't give much room for one's knees.



We drive a Honda Civic. Our back seat is so small that both car seats take up nearly the entire space. If Evelyn's car seat was rear-facing, my husband would need to sit practically squashed into the steering wheel. Not safe, nor comfortable for him to drive. We can't just go out and buy a larger car for this. So she's forward facing.



So is it a trade-off?

Nicole - posted on 01/15/2010

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still rear facing at 15 months- 28lbs, 35 in. I am keeping her that way until at least two or when I can't find that she will fit that RFs (she's kind of a beast :D)

Geralyn - posted on 01/14/2010

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I cannot believe how good the Consumer Reports' ratings were for the Scenara! Is it comfy and padded? Not that that is incredibly important... Its good to know that there are affordable alternatives out there....



The threads on car seats in the general COM have several crazy moms on there! One mom has a 4 month old! and wants to turn the baby around! It gives me ulcers...

Brenda - posted on 01/14/2010

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7 months? If I turned my son around when he could hold his head up he would have been four months old!!!!! Don't know what thread you ladies are on, but who in their right mind doesn't listen to the LEGAL issues? I hope she gets stopped for speeding or something and gets a big old fat ticket for having her poor baby forward facing before a year!!!!

Oh, got my carseat, the cosco Scenara. Glad I didn't try anything bigger!

Geralyn - posted on 01/13/2010

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Katherine, I know what you mean! Its one thing to not follow the safety recommendations -which I think is the mom's perogative as long as she knows about them (believe me, I was one of the mom's that didn't know about the safety recommendations until recently). Its another thing when the moms do not follow the legal mandates for age and weight. The mom who turned her 7 month old around to be forward-facing because the baby could hold her head up was the scariest mom in my opinion, because she was so ignorant with her name-calling and foot-stamping. She wan't mature enough to have a child, never mind make an important decision about her child's safety. Scary....

Katherine - posted on 01/13/2010

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Argh, more convo's on this EVERYWHERE. Shouldn't just plain old common sense rule? What happened to that? I mean as far as children under a year, I mean like a 4-6mo. I mean I'm starting to worry about these kids.

Brenda - posted on 01/13/2010

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Oh my goodness Lisa, my son weighs double what your four year old does! And my eight month old is about 22 pounds.... See, its times like these I realize how huge my kids are. :) I wouldn't know what to do with little ones that were small. I say my kids are big, but sometimes I think, well maybe I'm just imaging them bigger than other kids. Then I see how big other people's kids are. I give birth to behemoths! LOL!

Katherine - posted on 01/13/2010

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5 point harness, as long as possible, my daughter is 4 also 3'3 and 35lbs. If she fits and her head isn't above the head rest keep her in it. My 10mo is 16.5lbs 271/2 inches and I'm going to keep her RF for as long as possible. She's safer in a 5pt because on impact the harness prevents her head from whipping forward and protects the chest area and prevents her from being thrown. I had had my 4yo in a booster with just the belt and then I went to some baby expo's and woman's expo's and they said keep her in a 5pt until it's no longer possible. Her ped said the same thing. I posted some links ^^^^^^^^^ they are pretty informative.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2010

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So I'm completely clueless regarding this carseat issue. My daughter, who will be four in May, is about 38 1/2 inches tall and weighs only 26lb. My husband wants to know how long she should be in a five point harness. He thinks that a booster is safe, and I cannot adequately explain to him why she is safer in a five point than the regular seat belt. He thinks that they raise the car seat standards so companies can make more money from people buying seats for older children (rolls eyes) She has been forward facing for a long time. Can anyone explain the logistics to me?



My second is 15 months and 30 inches tall and weighs 17lb. She is remaining rear-facing.

Katherine - posted on 01/12/2010

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Quoting Theresa:

What convertible carseats have you all purchased? We just picked up a Britax Marathon this weekend. We were going to buy an EvenFlo but then heard that it is hard to use rear facing. My daughter is 10 mos, 24 pounds and 29+ inches. Her infant carseat will go to 30 pounds but only 30 inches so it's definitely time. The Marathon goes to 35 pounds rear facing so hopefully she'll stay rearfacing until at least age 2 as per new reccommendations.


!!!!!  My daughter is ten mo too, and she only weighs 16.5.  Her Ped says she's underweight....she's still in a 'bucket' seat.  To lug that thing around....oof  I have a convertable but she doesn't weigh enough yet.

Geralyn - posted on 01/11/2010

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The only safety results that I have found are the Consumer Reports crash testing.

Geralyn - posted on 01/11/2010

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Before you purchase any seat, contact your local Child Passenger Safety Technician. Here is the website - https://ssl13.cyzap.net/dzapps/dbzap.bin/apps/assess/webmembers/tool?pToolCode=TAB9&pCategory1=TAB9_CERTSEARCH&Webid=safekidscertSQL



Brenda, they could help you figure out the safest seat that would fit in a smaller car.



I have to find the links to the safety tests and I'll post them....

Brenda - posted on 01/11/2010

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I'm still trying to figure out which one to buy. I like the Graco ones, but I'm worried about how well they'll fit in a small car. I have an old Neon, and might be using my Escort, but both are small, though the Escort is bigger if I can get it fixed. I know the ones I had with my older son sucked, they both had one of those bars that goes in front of the baby, and they hurt his legs because they were crammed between the bar and the back of the seat when he got so tall.

This is the one I'm thinking of:
http://www.walmart.com/Graco-Convertible...
I'm just worried because it is a rather big seat. The Britax seats are pretty big too, so that's why I'm not sure about them... Argh, I want a try before you buy plan!

Theresa - posted on 01/11/2010

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What convertible carseats have you all purchased? We just picked up a Britax Marathon this weekend. We were going to buy an EvenFlo but then heard that it is hard to use rear facing. My daughter is 10 mos, 24 pounds and 29+ inches. Her infant carseat will go to 30 pounds but only 30 inches so it's definitely time. The Marathon goes to 35 pounds rear facing so hopefully she'll stay rearfacing until at least age 2 as per new reccommendations.

Brenda - posted on 01/09/2010

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Ah, yeah, that's what it was. My older son was beyond weight limit on our seat, but was miserable far before then because of the bar on it. Those carseats are horrible, imo. I'm a proponet of using the weight/height instead of the age restrictions anyway. At four my son is over 50 lbs. Child's size is so much more important than their age. Its those magic numbers parents get caught up in. As if suddenly at age 1 they're magically able to face forward. At least more people are finding out they should leave them rear as long as they can. Maybe the seat I buy for Nick will stay rear longer because I am in no way buying one with the bar in the front.

Katherine - posted on 01/08/2010

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A forward-facing child under 2 years old is 4 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash than a rear-facing child of the same age. A child's vertabrae do not fully fuse until 3-6 years old, before then, she is at great risk for internal decapitation. The spinal column can stretch up to 2 inches in a crash BUT the spinal cord can only stretch up to 1/4 inch before it snaps and baby is gone.

In the age of the internet its amazing so much misinformation exists! Please please do not listen to people telling you to turn your child forward facing 'at your judgement' or when her legs touch the seat. In truth, most children LIKE resting their feet on the back of the seat in front of them. Check out this photo album exclusively of rear facing kids, many of them much older than 12 months: http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/RFAlbum… It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (see sources) that ALL babies stay rear facing as long as possible, up to the weight/height limits of their seat. Most seats go to 30lbs rear facing, some go higher, check your manual. They are too tall for an infant carrier when the head is within an inch of the top of the shell. Too tall for most convertible seats when their ears reach the top of the seat. Has nothing to do with how long their legs are! There isn't a single documented case of a child breaking their legs b/c they were rear facing in an accident. There are, however, lots of cases where children have been killed and seriously injured where a rear facing seat would have protected them better. They are safest rear facing b/c their bones have not yet completed the ossification process that bonds/hardens them like adults. They need the bracing support that a rear facing seat offers to withstand a crash. 20lbs AND 1 year is the bare minimum as far as the law is concerned, but the law is the bare minimum of safety, and who wants to do the bare minimum for their child?
Source(s):
WHY REAR FACING:
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi
http://www.windsorpeak.com/dc/dcboard.ph
http://www.carseat.org/Resources/633.pdf
http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrea
http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html
http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/RFAlbum
http://www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/
http://myangelsaliandpeanut.tripod.com/i
http://momtoaliandshae.tripod.com/keepin
http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.h
http://www.aap.org/family/1to2yrs.htm
http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/tra

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868
http://www.carseatsite.com/rear-face_art


more info :)

Traci - posted on 01/08/2010

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I didn't even know there was restrictions. She's just in her RF seat. Hmm, I guess I should do some research. She's easily an inch or less from the top now...

Thanks for the links. I'll have to find the guidelines on this!

Geralyn - posted on 01/08/2010

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Different issue, but not completely unrelated... I saw a news story where they were talking about how more babies in utero are killed in car accidents than infants/toddlers. They went on to say that there is going to be a study to determine how safety can be improved. They had recommendations for air bags and seat belts, but that was about it. Its a bit problematic for me that this issue is going to be studied now. It will take about 5 years.... In the meantime, what to do???

Brenda - posted on 01/08/2010

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With my first, he was rear until he was outgrown the height restriction or pretty close to it, I believe. He was incredibly tall, 95th percentile for height and weight. And he was miserable, so he got turned around at that point. I put him in a belt positioning booster as soon as I could because the five point harness wouldn't fit anymore, and after about the seventh time I pinched him, I figured it was time to yank it out. Now at four he's in a plain backless booster, mostly because the high back booster didn't work well in the car I have.

I'll also add that we don't spend a lot of time in the car except for grocery store trips. It is mostly a work and school car.

With Nick, we'll go rear facing as long as I can leave him, but considering how tall my older boy was/is, I don't know how long it will be. I will follow what I feel most comfortable with again. I usually don't really rely on much more than what the boys tell me, and when I can see they are uncomfortable and something doesn't work, its time to change it. I'm the "wait and see". Who knows, maybe Nick will slow down and not be so blasted tall. So far he's 95th for weight and around 80 for height, so perhaps he won't be as tall...but I've got to get a convertible already because at eight months he's probably 23 pounds by now. So I'm not sure how it will go, but I'm planning on trying to keep him rear as long as I can. I don't see him staying that way until two however, no matter how much I wish I could. My husband's over six foot tall. I used to get accused of lying about my older son's age when he was younger because people would say he had to be three or four when he was one and a half to two just to give you an idea of how big he was. At the time he turned one he was already bigger than some two year old boys I knew....

I think size of a child is more important than age when it comes to this stuff. A smaller child will be in more danger than a larger child just because of the way the stresses in car accidents work. Saying that, just flipping a kid around because he's reached the "magic" age of one is silly. I hate "magic" numbers. If you have a child that is perfectly fine rear facing, leave them that way, even if they're almost three! Some kids are really small, and it just shouldn't rely on the "magic numbers" used for age restrictions. Just like all the stuff about potty training by this age, or bottles gone by this, or breast gone by this. It is different for every kid.

Max weight for rear facing on most carseats is around 28 to 30 lbs, and forward facing for some (like the one I had) was a max weight of 42. But it was one with the bar in front and I got rid of that thing faster than anything when I could turn him forward facing because I hated that thing. I think the style of carseat was why I couldn't leave him rearfacing longer than I did, because that style sucks. I don't see them these days which is a good thing!

Geralyn - posted on 01/07/2010

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BTW its great that you brought up the issue. It really needs to be discussed and the information needs to be disseminated. I turned my son aroung to forward-facing at 1 and then I learned about the recommendations. I immediately turned him back around.



I anticipate that car seats will be built to be rear-facing for higher weights and heights. I went to a child passenger safety technician (check with your local fire station). She recommended the Sunshine Kids Radian 80 - it literally goes up to 80 lbs for the bigger kids forward-facing. I am not sure what its rear-facing maximum weight is....

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