Opinions on the new AAP car seat recommendations...

Susie - posted on 03/24/2011 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Read this: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11080/113..., if you haven't already heard the new guidelines/recommendations, and then tell me your opinion on it. Should small children ride backwards longer and older children ride until 4'9"? We followed both with our children before it was recommended, but I'm curious what others think.

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Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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Theresa we went to walmart and bought a two pack for $5 of kick mats, they hook over the head rest and cover the back seat. Definitely a necessity in the snow, mud, rain etc etc!

Kate CP - posted on 03/24/2011

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Keshia: They can sit cross legged or even with their legs bunched up a little. It's safer for them to rear face as the risks of internal decapitation are much higher when a young child is forward facing.

Janelle - posted on 03/24/2011

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For those of you having trouble latching anchors in your car seats, go to your local fire department, most fire fighters would be happy to help you, and some are certified car seat inspectors who know all the requirements for seats.

Krista - posted on 03/24/2011

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I'm now picturing Teresa in a booster seat and giggling.

Personally, I think it's fantastic that the AAP is making these recommendations.

Unfortunately, you're still going to get people who turn their kids front-facing at 3 months old for some stupid reason or another, because hey, what does the AAP know, right?

I'd like to see this recommendation made law, but only after the automobile manufacturers and car seat manufacturers get together and figure out how to make it easier for parents to do ERF with their children.

[deleted account]

Susie... her 5 year old is still in a car seat.... not 'graduated' to booster seat status yet. ;)

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Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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And honestly you kid doesn't want what they don't know exists so if they never go front facing, they don't know they are 'missing out' on anything! Buy a mirror so they can see you, buy a kick mat to keep the seats clean, and let them look out the side and back windows! I think they get a better view rearfacing anyways because there isn't two big front seats blocking their vision!

Carrie - posted on 03/24/2011

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In almost everything, I am the most relaxed mom I know, but because of speeds on the roads and the crazy drivers, this is one issue that I am militant about.

Since most accidents are front or rear impact, rear facing is most safe. I took a lot of flack from others when my kids were little for keeping them rear facing longer.

Others would turn around their child because there was less mess from the shoes on the seat or because the child behaved better when they could look out and see things and see the parents in the front. Ultimately, isn't safety more important than dirt or entertainment or convenience? I think that is what these new guildlines are about - getting people to get their priorities straight and keep safety first.

Minnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Hah- no, but our car's a mess anyways. I've actually never had a problem with shoes on the back seat- our toddler either crosses her legs or hangs them over the sides.

Theresa - posted on 03/24/2011

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So I'm wondering for those of you who have kept older children rear facing, do you take off their shoes so they don't get mud/snow/water all over the back of the seat? My son just turned a year and I haven't turned him around yet. He's not walking yet, but when he starts what do you do to keep dirty feet off the seat?



@ Brittany & Teresa: You aren't supposed to tether the back of the car seat down when it's rear facing. It's designed to go toward the seat back during an accident. The impact will not kill a child. If it's tethered down the front seat can come back into the carseat and break it causing injury to the child in it. The tether is only for a forward facing seat. Read your seat's instruction manual and it will say to store the tether tucked up into the seat when rear facing.

Krista - posted on 03/24/2011

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Brittany, what I would recommend would be to contact your local police or fire department and ask about having a car seat technician help you ensure that your car seat is properly installed. The technician can go over it all with you and make sure that your car seat is as secure as Fort Knox and can teach you how to do it properly yourself, in case you change vehicles or have to use a different car for awhile. Were I you, I would definitely give them a call and explore that option, before turning your child around at 25 lbs. I'm pretty sure it's free, too, so what do you have to lose?

Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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I agree totally with the aap guidelines, in fact aap is usually not cautious enough with their recommendations!
Eric will be rearfacing until 45 lbs and in a 5 point harness until 80 lbs and 53 inches. Beyond that my husband says we will buy one type of mini van wher the front row can be reversed to rearfacing seats so even our kids who are too big to rear face in carseats can still rear face in their front facing car seats! He is such a concerned daddy :)

Minnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Brittany, there is a special clip that comes with the car seat for situations specifically like yours- in which a vehicle doesn't have a locking mechanism built directly in. It should be stowed underneath the car seat somewhere. It's a little metal piece.



I am very happy the AAP is backing this publicly now. My 2 1/2 year old is rear facing and my five year old is still in a five point harness (she's too tall to rear face). It's simple physics. I'd prefer to not risk internal decapitation if we were to be in a collision.



LOL- you know Teresa, I have a friend who is 5' 1" and she says she has a difficult time getting the seat belt to sit on her correctly.



Hmmm...on second thought, maybe I'm not understanding what you're describing, Brittany. We don't anchor the back of the car seat either. It's supposed to flip up in a collision- it's called rebound.

Krista - posted on 03/24/2011

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How old is your van, Brittany? Does it have the LATCH system?

I know in my vehicle, the back of the carseat itself is not anchored to anything. But I anchored the front straps to the LATCH hooks in the crevice of the back seat, and I kneeled all 200 lbs of myself into that son of a gun and hauled holy hell on that strap, and I can tell you, it does not budge at ALL.

So I'm not really understanding how you think your car seat would slam into the back of the front seat.

[deleted account]

How can you not anchor the seat? Our car seat has a clip that hooks from the back of the car seat to under the front of the van seat.

Krista, that's just mean! lol

[deleted account]

I find it funny at bit. Especially when I thought it was mean when one of the daycare kids had to sit in a booster seat at 3 (I was about 7 at the time). How times change.

What I don't like about the whole rear facing thing is that in our van there is no way to ancor the back of the convertable carseat to the car. In a crash it will slam her into the seat back killing her. I plan on turning her around once she is 25lbs.

Basically I think they need to now completely redue carseats to better fit these new regulations. I don't really want my daughter to be turned around... but let's face it a side or rear collision is more common than a head on.

Susie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Be careful with your 5-year-old not in a booster seat, Kate. The AAA said seatbelts are designed for people 4'9" or taller, so even if kids seem secure using them, they are at risk to fly out in an accident -- esp. a rollover one. I read a story from our car insurance co. about a 4-year-old who died in a very low-impact car accident in which his parents' car rolled over. He was the only one who died...because he flew out of the seatbelt. He didn't have the height or weight for the seatbelt to work. His parents said they wished they knew. They'd always done it with their older kids and they seemed so safe, etc. Our kids are tall for their ages, but we made them stay in the no-back booster seats until they were 4'9" and until we were convinced the seatbelt fit them properly. Seatbelts should go across the hips not the stomach where they can cause internal injuries/perforation in a low-impact accident.

Karen - posted on 03/24/2011

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i have an 18 month old and we're still rear facing and will do so until he reaches the seat max of 35lbs...considering he's only 22lbs we still have a long ways to go :)

[deleted account]

Bend them, put them over the seat, sit cross legged.... I, personally, find sitting like that more comfortable then my legs dangling down w/ no support (since I'm short... it's happened in some seating... not in the vehicle though).

Keshia - posted on 03/24/2011

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Maybe it was just my son, but him riding rear facing until he was 2 would have been uncomfortable for him. Where are they supposed to put their legs?? I have a 3 month old now. What are they supposed to do for leg room??

Kate CP - posted on 03/24/2011

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I'm a rear facing fan, too. My son will rear face as long as possible. My daughter is already five so she's forward facing but in an actual car seat, not a booster.

[deleted account]

I'm a big fan of rear facing. My son will be 3 on Sunday and is still rear facing.

My 9 year olds are not in boosters anymore (haven't been since they were 8.5). I got rid of the backs on their boosters before I realized that the back seat in our van doesn't have head rests. They fit in the regular seat belt and considering where their heads/necks were while IN the boosters.... I realized they were probably safer out of them.

They aren't 4'9" yet, but I'M only 4'11"..... They come up just past my chin. ;)

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