Please tell me why front facing sounds safe?

Merry - posted on 09/12/2010 ( 109 moms have responded )

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Hey moms, I know the law says it's legal to front face at one year and 20lbs but every safety recommendation I find says that it's still incredibly dangerous up to about 4 years! I was very easily convinced to rear face Eric until 3-4 years because his safety is my big concern. I'm wondering why so many moms dint do the same.
Is it because they don't know the facts?
Is it because it's inconvenient?
Is it because of habit or tradition?
Or is it that they don't believe the experts?

Please, it sound sooooooooo obvious to me to rear face, I don't knowhow it's not more common. I don't understand why every mom isn't rear facing their child for years. It's just unimaginable the amount of little ones front facing and I can't change it until I know why so many moms are ignoring the safety in the car...


Anyone have some insight as to why this happens?

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Nikki - posted on 09/12/2010

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I will also post tthis video about an 18 month old boy who was FF, luckily its a miracle he is alive , watch his story, they give you all the facts about why RF is safer , a very educational video

Jodi - posted on 09/18/2010

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OK, Laura, I think everyone has your point, this is becoming more of a lecture that a discussion about different people's viewpoints. I do note that some people in this thread have felt belittled for their views, and I therefore believe it is time to lock this thread.

Thank you all for your contributions.

Jodi Adams
WtCoM Moderator

Jodi - posted on 09/12/2010

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Laura, it is illegal not to use a seat that has been approved by the Australian Standard. So we can import seats, but only if they have the Australian Standard "tick" on them. They have to change the standard in order to import anything different, and the standard has only JUST been changed to be able to accommodate our new laws which were just implemented. It is highly unlikely that it will change again at this stage, and it is a long process to get it done.



But at the same time, you do need to be aware that we don't have the same traffic on our roads, so while our seats may not necessarily be at the same standard as yours, our roads and road toll are much lower on a per capita basis, as are the deaths and injuries of young children in car accidents.

Dawn - posted on 09/14/2010

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Laura, your tone to many posts that do not agree with you is demeaning.....do you think this is the best way to get your point out there????

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Jessica, every convertible seat vie ever seen is rearfacing until 35-45 lbs. I've never seen a convertible that has to front face at 20lbs. Needless to say, just go into a toys r us and look at the convertible seats. Most can rear face until 35 lbs some till 40lbs and I've seen one till 45lbs. What makes you think your daughters neck is strong enough? Every thing I've researched says that until about the age of three most childrens necks will break in a front end or side crash.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

109 Comments

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Dawn - posted on 09/18/2010

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Here's something to think about.....

drop down cribs were recently recalled and no longer being sold because of safety....it didn't seem like it took that long for the change to be implemented.....if there really is such a safety problem associated with FF before the age of 3, why has the general public not be informed through a recall and mass alert????

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Wow Teresa, my son is 27lbs! He's not even 1 1/2 yet! I feel like it's easy for moms of big kids to mistakenly think they are stronger. But I bet you your 2.5 year olds neck is stronger internally then my son whose the same weight! I remind myself, his organs are only as mature as his age, not his size!

[deleted account]

There is a BIG difference between CAN go forward and SHOULD go forward. ;) The convertible seat I have CAN face forward at 22 pounds if you choose, but it can also be used rear facing til 35 pounds.... which is the reccommended use of the seat. I'm kind of lucky though in the sense that my 2.5 year old is only 27 pounds.

Jessica - posted on 09/18/2010

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b.t.w. your childs length doesnt have anything to do with being forward facing...(even though their leggs hanging over can be an issue) all seats are different but usually at 20 lbs they should go forward! 35 pounds is way to extream my daughter is 2 and is not even 33 pounds yet and shes in the 90th percentile for weight!! what kind of seat do you have??? never have i ever heard of 36 pounds rear facing look into it.

Jessica - posted on 09/18/2010

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hello
my daughter was very large for her age and at 20 lbs she was 9 months! her doctor advised that we keep her rear facing untill her neck muscles fully form and can support her head in case of an accident. the only reason people feel its less safe is bc kids necks arent too strong! but my daughter was absolutly in love when we turned her forward facing she loves to feel like a big girl and look out the windows we play games i ask her to show me white trucks or blue cars its great....it makes car trips soooo much easier. think about it like this your child is facing back towards the seat and starts choking you have to pull over get them out and hope to GOD he or she isnt blue yet!!! its scary to think but my daughter gags her self somtimes trying to wipe away tears when shes crying. i feel like i can breath a sigh of relief seeing her in the rear mirror and being able to reach her easily. we adapt and change all the time 40 yrs ago they didnt put kids in car seats have safty belts or know the harms of smoking. were very lucky to have learnt that car seats are necessary. regardless if our new mom fears make us think our child isnt as safe as we'd like!!! this feeling too shall pass promise!!!!

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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I think it's what ever way they outgrow a seat first that you go by. So my sons seat is rearfacing until 35lbs or 36inches but he will be 36inches before 35lbs so at that point I'll buy him a bigger seat. Rf until 1 is the bare minimum, not the recommendation.

Erica - posted on 09/18/2010

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I completly agree with doing everything to keep your children safe...however what is safe for you and your child might not be safe for someone elses child....No one child is the same and everyone grows at different rates...Where we live children have to be in RF until age 1, FF until age 4 , and booster until age . If I went by weight by 11 yr old would still be in a booster seat but by going by height he could have been out of one by age 6!!!! so you tell me how you are suppose to judge what is safe at that point

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Teresa! Great use of your Christmas money! My friend is buying cloth diapers this year with her Christmas and bday money cuz she's trying to be greener! As moms it's weird how our priorities change huh?

[deleted account]

Most police officers are not properly trained in car seat safety.

I'm a single mom on welfare who bought my son's car seat w/ MY Christmas money from my mom.

It CAN be done. :)

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Sharon, I'm sorry to disagree, if you check out the carseatsafety web sites, and pretty much every health website you will find the opposite true, rearfacing is incredibly more safe. I've never seen any evidence to say forward facing is ever safer.

[deleted account]

My daughter was turned around to face forward in her carseat at 10months of age by my brother who was a state trooper at the time. His whole reasoning for it was that it was safer for her to be forward facing because she had out grown the space between the rear facing seats and the back of the seat. Not to mention he's seen to many crashes with children in them....no specific details given just to use just that he said that the forward facing seats equaled less injuries for the child that has out grown the space between their seats and the back seat. Plus my daughter did match the weight and height requirements for a forward facing seat by his law books.

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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We don't have money, lol, we just think this is a good way to use some money. I buy everything second hand, and we never eat out, we don't take vacation days and we both have incomes. I'm only 21 so it's not like I have a lot of savings. It's just not something I can stomach skimping on. When it comes to safety, I just can't say it's too expensive, when it's the safest. So no, we don't have a lot of money, but I save what I can and this is a priority for me.

Erica - posted on 09/18/2010

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laura alot of us moms get your point(how could we not?) however in this economy who can really afford a $300 carseat? Alot of parents are barley geting by as is. So if you are so intent on pushing this try talking to the manufacuters and see if they could come up with a better solution!!!! You might have tons of money to throw around but I am sure MOST OF US DONT

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Hey Sherri, idk what you are willing to spend but the sunshine radian kids xtsl goes to 80lbs in a 5 point harness. Also 45lbs rearfacing. It's about $300 but I've seen it on sale for $240 and I think it's worth the price, can't beat the 80lbs in a harness!

Sherri - posted on 09/17/2010

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If I had another they will most certainly be rear facing till three yrs. Unfortunately in 1997 & 1998 it was turn them as soon as they were a year and out of car seats into boosters by 3 or 4. In 2006 they still wanted them turned at a year. I turned mine when he was 15 or 16mo's. I wish I had known better I certainly would have left him rear facing much longer. However, the one thing I do know is in the next few weeks I am going to buy a new car seat that has the 5pt harness to 65lbs.

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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If your mind is made up, then I can't do anything. I'm here for the moms willing to learn and improve. I was grateful to learn, and I see moms also grateful to learn. That's why I keep trying. For their children.

Dawn - posted on 09/17/2010

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I was thinking it would be uncomfortable before I saw these pictures...now I really think it would be uncomfortable.....some of those children look ridiculous and you are telling me they are going to stay riding with their feet propped on the seat back like that.....OK!!!! Yeah, I know better broken legs then spine, but really were do we draw the line....surely it's safer to sit RF @ age 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 as well??!!!?? Is there a study for that yet??

Candi - posted on 09/17/2010

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If they are RF and had to sit "Indian-style" or criss cross applesauce as kids call it now, their legs would fall asleep! Have you ever tried to stand up after your legs fall asleep? You'd fall down!

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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http://raisingcreativechildren.com/wp-co...



So threres a bunch of pictures showing how it looks to rear face until 3-4 years. I didn't make this up, it's happening all over the world. Moms just like us are learning new things and deciding to take action. It's not as uncommon as you all think, and the kids really only 'want to forward face' if you think they do or influence them to do so. Just put on a happy face and tell them how much you love them and how this will be safer. Really we as parents can change our kids feelings so easily :)

Candi - posted on 09/17/2010

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when my 2 older kids turned 5, they were out of carseats. That was the law then..plus my son wastoo tall for his, which is totally unsafe. My oldest daughter loved riding in her seat and once in a while she would still ask to get in it. Now my youngest is 5, but the new law here is for them to be in carseat until the age of 7, so guess who is still in a carseat for 2 more years? I do all I can to protect my children. They are not allowed to ride in the front seat and I refuse to start the car until they are buckled in. This is nothing new to them. Its a good thing my little one likes her carseat so much!!

Sherri - posted on 09/17/2010

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They say they will just sit indian style or legs bent touching the seat. The law is to a year but the leaflets that the pediatrician is handing out is now to 3 yrs and they are trying to change the law to 2 yrs rear facing in the US.

Erica - posted on 09/17/2010

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I personally COULD NOT have my youngest child rear facing after 1. He outgrew his infant car seat at 4 months and we bought one that was reversible for him to be in until he turned 1. He was 30 lbs at one year old and very long. His legs were crunched and it was very uncomfortbale for him to be in the car. I think that if you prefer your child to be rear facing until he/she is 4 that is your decision but dont judge why everyone doesnt do it.

[deleted account]

That's what I figured! Me and my friend got pulled over for some police car seat check the other day. They were doing it to every parent that had a baby on board. They asked age, height, and weight and none of them mentioned rear facing until 3-4 or even to 2. They checked how secure the seat was and how tight the harness was, even checked to make sure the plastic thing was where it should be. My friend's son is 10 months but her doctor gave her permission, due to his height, to put him in a FF. No one had issues with either of our children being in a FF, even told us that, as long as the 5 point harness was tightened properly and the seat was installed properly, they were safe from their heads snapping like is being suggested.

Maybe the reports are based off of children who were injured while in an improperly installed FF? Wouldn't that make the statistics a little skewed?

Rhiannon - posted on 09/17/2010

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I know i might sound abit daft, but if they rear face untill 4yrs where on earth do their legs go? surely it would be really uncomfortable for the child. I think as long as its a properly fitted seat with a five point harness the child will be fine facing forward :)

Kate - posted on 09/17/2010

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i don't see who would have there child rear facing till age 3-4(my opinion)... i think 20-25 pounds is plenty big enough especially because of how tall they may be.. my oldest lola now 3 had to be put front facing at about 11 months because her legs were to long and it was uncomfortable for her to be rear facing..she was just about 20 lbs. imagine being 3 and your knees are in your face because you are still rear facing ..it all seems a bit extreme to me. of course i care about the safety of my children and make sure they have safe carseats and everything but i am still going with the front facing at 20lbs or 1 year. i don't see how rear facing is safer at that point unless you have air bags in your back seat which my car does not.





front facing your child does not make you a bad parent either... i was reading all the comments and that's how some made it seem...

Cheryl - posted on 09/17/2010

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I appreciate what you're saying and my childrens safety in the car is always my main priority but i can honestly say that i have never seen a rear facing car seat that any of my children would have fit in safely and comfortably after they were 14 mths old! Having said that they remained in a 5 point harness until they were at least 6 yrs

[deleted account]

I haven't read all the replies, and I may not get to it tonight, but I will respond.



I switched my 3 year-old at 14 months. We got her a new seat and it never fit right when in the rear facing position (I didn't feel it was secure enough because the seat wasn't giving the place where the most weight was - the back of the seat - enough support), so we moved it around. Our 19 month-old had to have hers turned around at 10 months because of her height. Her legs would be all literally crossed at the knees and she would be sitting "indian style" in her seat when it was rear facing. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, BUT she was getting severe leg cramps after sitting like that for more than 5 mintues and it was causing her horrendous pain. Our pediatrician told us to turn her around before doing any damage to our daughter's legs and the pediatrician wrote us a note to keep in our car explaining the situation should we get questioned about it before our daughter turned 1 (it was never a problem though since we never got pulled over).

Nicola - posted on 09/15/2010

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i would say for us we didn't rear face for very long because our children would no longer fit in a rear facing child seat. They are both very tall and didn't fit not because of there legs but because there heads where well above the top of the seat. Also we have always caught the bus alot and once your kids have realised how much they can see facing forwards and sitting up like the grown-ups the struggle to get them rear facing is enormous. I'm in australia and my kids are now 5 and 8 we haven't had a car at all since our youngest was 6 months old (used the seat in my parents car occasionally). i do wish the buses here had seat belts in like they do in england though it would feel much safer.

[deleted account]

Here in the UK children can use a front facing carseat when they weigh 9kg and are at least 9 months old. My son is nearly 10 months old and weighs just 18lb4oz and his rearfacing carseat fits up to 26lbs but I think he'll have outgrown it heightwise before he weighs over 26lbs. The regulations differ from country to country and as the rearfacing seats here only go up to 26lbs that's why most people switch to frontfacing between 12-18months old.

Heather - posted on 09/15/2010

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I have read your research and frankly, while a lot of it is based on actual studies, much of it is opinion and conjecture too. It's not safe to drive or ride in a car at all if you read some statistics. While I want to my child to be as safe as possible, I also think there are happy mediums to everything. Do you only use organic food because of the risk of cancer causing pesticides and growth hormones? Do you vaccinate your children? Do you even have the safest car available? If not, you could be putting your child at more risk than a FF car seat poses.
I understand what you're trying to say about it being safer, but it's not practical for many people and it's not your place to insinuate they're bad mothers because they're following guidelines even YOUR research allows are safe. We get the best car seat we can afford, we belt our children in correctly(tightly), and we drive as safe as possible to midigate the risks. Until research can PROVE that the injuries to children in FF car seats weren't caused by improper installation or improper restraints(i.e. the child's harness wasn't tightened properly) people are going to follow the 1yr or 20lbs. We're all very proud of the moms who still rear face at 2, 3, or 4yrs, but please lay off those who don't. Put the research out there and let them decide for themselves.

Merry - posted on 09/15/2010

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You know, sadly that might be true, but ignoring safety facts just because you learned them from an annoying source isnt going to give anyone much satisfaction. I think that the world tends to be too permissive with facts, calling them "personal choices" and in the end, moms don't get the full severity of these "choices" I don't want to make anyone mad, but I cant be a part of the group who allows moms to make their "choices" without making it clear of the possible consequences.

Does that may any sence? I am really trying here, but I just can't say "it doesn't matter, it's your choice." The stakes are just too high. And it's too hard to fall asleep at night wondering if a child could die from it's mom never being told the truth. It eats at me.

Dawn - posted on 09/15/2010

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Actually Laura, I disagree with you....if you are too forward it pushes people away and makes them defensive. You have presented us with great information and some terrific (even if rude) rebuttles to those who have given you the insight you requested.....at some point your pushiness makes you seem extreme and then your message is lost.

Merry - posted on 09/15/2010

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Dawn, I never try to use rude tones, but the way I say things shouldn't influence parents decisions to choose safer ways. No one us going to say, since you didn't say that gentle enough I'm going to keep my child forward facing. Moms just want their kids safe, no matter how they learn of it. But yes, I will keep trying to be gentle with my words.

Sherri - posted on 09/15/2010

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Laura I understand you are passionate on this subject. However, your point has been made it is time to back off now.

Heather - posted on 09/14/2010

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This is fairly new research and I'd like to see the actual tests and standards they used to determine the statistics. I'm all for keeping my child in a 5 point harness until they're 5 or 6 or until they're big enough sit correctly in the seat with the seat belt in the correct place. I do think keeping them in a rear facing seat until they're 3 or 4 is bit extreme, but if you can and you want to go for it. It's pretty nasty to compare FF your child to leaving them alone in a bathtub though. Seriously ladies? I kinda feel this is an issue like "drop side cribs". Some people say they're a danger to children and you should never get one. Other people love them and they're completely safe.
As I said, I'd want to review how the statistics were determined and what tests were done before I accused another mom of endangering her child. Doctors in other countries may dissagree about what age is appropriate, but frankly they dissagree about most things from country to country and it's all based on "facts and research".

Merry - posted on 09/14/2010

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What if I am hit from behind?  Won't my child be safer facing forward?

Frontal and side impacts are the most common type of crashes. They account for 96% of all crashes. They are also the most deadly type of crashes (especially side impacts) and rear-facing children have MUCH more protection in both types of crashes than forward-facing. In the 4% of rear impact crashes that a rear-facing child would be in, they have at least the same amount of protection that a FF child would have in a frontal impact, with the added benefit of less crash energy being transferred to them, and the fact that the rear impact is usually not as severe.

The forces in a rear impact crash are much different from the forces in a frontal impact crash. In a frontal impact, the forces are much greater because the vehicles are usually traveling in opposite directions. Experts suggest that a frontal crash is the same as hitting a concrete barrier � the vehicle and all occupants come to a dead stop within less than 1 second.

When you are struck in a rear impact, the vehicles involved are traveling in the same direction, and the vehicle that is hit in the back has room to move forward. The crash force on the occupants is much less than in a frontal impact. The movement of the impacted vehicle, in addition to the crush zone, absorbs a lot of the crash energy, so it is not transferred to the child. Additionally, the majority of rear impacts are at low speeds.

In short, if your child is rear-facing, he has optimal protection in the types of crashes you are most likely to be in. If he is forward-facing, he may have optimal protection in a rear-end crash, but statistically, that is the least likely to happen and he is 60% more likely to be injured or killed in the types of crashes (frontal, side impact) you are most likely to be in.


This is taken from the second site I posted above, very reliable source.

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