Should I switch my son's carseat to forward facing?

Kayle - posted on 10/01/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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My son is only 8 months old but you have to understand he's a big boy. Weighing in at 25+ pound. His feet are touching the seat and are all scrunched up. I know they say to wait until they are a year old. But it can't be safe for him to be all scrunched up like that.

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Krista - posted on 10/01/2010

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accident reports show that it is very unlikely for the legs to be injured while rear facing, but foward facing can be devastating, causing death or very serious injury.



What Jennifer said. Leg injuries from RF babies in car accidents are very, very, very rare.



Deaths and serious injuries from FF babies in car accidents? Not rare.



If he's still in his infant carrier, then perhaps a convertible seat is the answer. I bought the Graco MyRide 65. They can RF up to 40 lbs, and then FF up to 65 lbs. My son is the same weight as yours, and is very tall (33 inches long), and his feet are barely touching the rear seat, just due to the car seat being bigger.



And even if he was so scrunched up that his knees were up around his ears, it's STILL safer than front-facing. I mean, think about how many adults get bad whiplash from a car accident -- and those are strong, adult necks. A baby's head is MUCH heavier in proportion to their body than an adult's is.



You don't believe me? Take a cantaloupe, poke a hole in it, and sit it on a celery stalk.



And imagine if you were holding that celery stalk in your hand while crashing into the back of another car while going 30 mph.



You think that celery stalk would still be intact? Think the cantaloupe would still be attached to it?



Well...that cantaloupe and celery stalk are a model of your kid's head and spine.



'Nuff said.

Sneaky - posted on 10/02/2010

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Yes Krystal, the Australian laws are archaic and wrong . . how long did it take them to change the law so that children under four could not sit in boosters seats and die from internal injuries from seat belts across their abdomens? Oh yeah, that only happened about six months ago!!!! And the law should have banned children sitting in boosters until the age of seven, but they were afraid to make too much of a change at once! Just because the law says that legally you can change, doesn't mean you should - you need to evaluate the risks you are willing to take with your child's life. At this point, if I could figure out how to turn my two year back around to rear facing and keep her there until the age of four I would!

BTW Aussie mums: I have read a few posts about the lack of rear facing car seats available in Australia for children over 12 kg and was talking to my local car seat specialist about it a few days ago - apparently the current rear facing car seats are only tested to 12kg, they will probably be fine to 15, 17 or even 20 kg rear facing, it is just that the seat manufacturers have not done the testing to prove it. Hopefully the seat manufacturers here will catch up with what Aussie parents want without waiting another decade for the laws to catch up!!!!

Kim - posted on 10/01/2010

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No, I used to be a certified carseat technician. The child MUST be at least a year and 20lbs. They may look uncomfortable, but you need to remember they are used to being in confined spaces. How long did they stay all scrunched up in our bellies? We didn't deliver early because we thought they were uncomfortable. There are studies that show that I child less than 1 yr old can not support their neck appropriately to sustain a car crash. If you still have your baby in an infant carrier carseat buy a convertable seat. They are bigger and offer more space. My youngest of 4 is also 8 months old and she is HUGE! She weighs over 20lbs. I did have to get rid of infant carrier because she was all scrunched up, but with the convertable rear facing seat she is fine and her legs aren't even touching the seat anymore.

Adrienne - posted on 10/01/2010

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My oldest son was 11 months old when we turned him from rear to forward facing. He was big for his age as well. I had to get a doctors note to keep in the car at all times thought because here we aren't suppose to switch them until they are one and a certain weight. Depending on where you live they have different rules of what age and weight for switching them around. My sister in law told me about this one place that kept their kids in a rear facing car seat until they were 8 years old I think and they just made they cross their legs. 8 months might not be a good age because the reason why they say a age and weight is because they want the baby's neck muscles to be strong enough.

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Bethanie - posted on 10/02/2010

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As you can see from my profile pic, I have 2 precious little boys, so I truly sympathize with the people on here that have shared their horribly tragic stories. But I have a somewhat stupid question!...What happens to the children that are RF when the car they are in gets rearended? Answer...the same thing as a FF baby in a front end collision. The truth is, you just have to do what you think is best for your child! Vehicles are dangerous machines and some people more than others are worse at operating them! Use your maternal instinct and be careful!!!

Momof1 - posted on 10/02/2010

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No, you shouldn't turn it around. If you don't have a convertible car seat, then you should get one, that way he will fit in that car seat better then if he is in the one that attaches to the stroller. (Sorry, I forget what they are called, even though I am currently still using one. LOL) My son, who is 10 months now, was at his 9 month check up and his ped. said that even though he hit the weight limit (20 lbs) we should still keep him rear facing until he is one. And after reading some things off of here and other posts, I may keep him rear facing for longer.

Krista - posted on 10/02/2010

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Ladies -- tone it down. Let's focus on giving the OP advice about carseats, shall we?

Krista
WTCOM Moderator.

Medic - posted on 10/02/2010

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I do believe I said MY selfish reasons no where in there did I say you were selfish but if you want to play the victim when I was not attacking you that's fine. I'll be the rude one with safe kids.

Krystal - posted on 10/02/2010

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In Australia we can switch them forward at 6mths OR 8kgs so i dont see a problem with it if its legal.

Kayle - posted on 10/01/2010

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To Jennifer Lott....

I would like to know how my post came off as selfish?
I was actually concerned and that is why I asked on here. I'm not sure how that is being selfish. I not once stated that I wanted to do it because to see what he was doing. I wouldn't have posted my concern if I was a "selfish" mother. And I'm still not sure how I came off as selfish.

To all the other mothers who answered my question with out being incredibly rude. Thank you. He is in a convertable carseat but he is still scrunched up. But after reading all of this and seeing the video he will stay rear facing for as long as he can.

Thanks again to all the curtious, not rude moms, that can state there point with out being incredibly rude about it. =)

Amy - posted on 10/01/2010

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As everyone has fully stated their spine is not fully developed and if in a car accident and they are ff you are putting your little one at greater risk for serious injury. Like Amy stated most accidents occur within 5 miles of your home. This summer I had my 4 year old son and 3 week old daughter in my car when we were t-boned in our driveway. The kid who hit me ended up 30 feet up my hard after he hit us. We were all transported to the hospital via ambulance, I was the only one who had to follow-up with specialists. My daughter slept through the whole thing. It is so not worth turning them around!

Nikki - posted on 10/01/2010

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NO NO NO NO NO!!!! big boy or not his spine is not fully strong enough to handle a car crash and by him FF he has a 75% more likely chance of being seriously injured by being paralyzed or dying. Regardless what the law states it is HIGHLY recommended they RF til 2-3......... My son is a big boy he weighed 26lbs and was 34 inches tall at a year..... He is still RF at 15 months and will continue to be as long as possible.... Most convertible carseats can RF up to 35lbs and some to 45lbs, he can bend his legs, there are no cases of babies breaking there legs

THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER DEAL WITH A BROKEN LEG OR A BROKEN SPINE.... REAR FACING IS BY FAR THE ABSOLUTE SAFEST FOR YOUR CHILD!!!!

THIS VIDEO GIVES YOU ALL THE FACTS ABOUT WHY, ITS A MIRACLE STORY OF AN 18 MONTH OLD BOY WHO IS LEARNING HOW TO WALK AGAIN AND HAVE USE OF HIS ARMS AND LEGS AFTER BEING IN A FF ACCIDENT.


I WILL TELL THIS TO EVERYONE WHO WILL LISTEN TO SAVE A LIFE, MY NEIGHBOR'S NEICE DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT OVER THE SUMMER SHE WAS FF AT 10 MONTHS!! Her mom lost her only child and too see someone in that state breaks my heart, I cannot even fathom what she is going through, there are no words to make her feel better, there is nothing she lost the most important part of her life that day and NOONE DESERVES TO EVER HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT!!!!!!!

Medic - posted on 10/01/2010

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His feet touching the seat is in no way a sign he needs to be front facing same for wanting to see what they are doing. I would rather my children be alive and safe than facing forward for MY selfish reasons and become internally decapitated in a crash. Anyways broken leg cast it broken neck casket

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Not before a year and preferably not before 2. If he is close to outgrowing his seat buy one that has a higher weight limit for rearfacing. My son is definitely a lightweight (27 pounds), but is still rearfacing at 2.5 now.

Sandra - posted on 10/01/2010

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My son is a big baby too. What you need to get in a convertable car seat. They go from rear facing when the child is under a year, to forward facing when they're over a year, and mine turns into a booster seat for when my son is over 65 pounds. But no, you can't turn your son's car seat around yet. I wish I could. I have one more month to wait, and I'm tired of not being able to see what he's doing, but it's for their safety so keep him rearfacing.

Schyla - posted on 10/01/2010

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My 6 month old hist 20lb she sat rear facing in a convertible car seat from 6 months to 2 years the car seat we used was just fine.

Aimee-Grace - posted on 10/01/2010

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NO, don't switch him it's too dangerous. My daughter is in the 95% in height and is now 18 months old and is still rear-facing. I would recommend moving him from an infant seat, if he is still in one, to a convertible seat. This will give him more room and comfort. My daughter's feet hit the seat but she sits either with her knees bent or cross-legged and does fine. The reason that rear-facing is safer even when they are fast growing kids is because when rear-faced if you were to be in an accident the seat takes all the force and distributes it so that the child does not. When forward-facing, the child takes on most of the force (body gets thrown forward) and if that child is not old enough than like Amy said the muscle, bone, etc. is not developed enough to handle the amount of force put on the child's body. It is recommended to leave a child rear-facing until the weight limit on the car seat is met or 2 years old, not just switch them at 1 years old. The convertible seat that I choose was Evenflo Symphony 65: rear-facing until 35 lbs, forward-facing at 1 year and 20 lbs to 65 lbs with the harness, and then forward-facing from 48 lbs to 100 lbs with the shoulder strap. I hope this information helps you and I understand your dilemma been there. :) My daughter since getting the convertible seat has no problems sitting rear-facing and can even see out the windows too! :)

Jennifer - posted on 10/01/2010

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his feet touching the seat is not unsafe. it is 5 times more dangerous to forward face him. the new recommendation is to keep them rear facing until they are 2 years old because it is so much safer. if you forward face him, you are putting him at risk of being internally decapitated if you were to get in an accident. accident reports show that it is very unlikely for the legs to be injured while rear facing, but foward facing can be devastating, causing death or very serious injury.

Iridescent - posted on 10/01/2010

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No. He needs to be both a year old AND at least 20 pounds. The reason has to do with more than just size; it's also muscle development, bone development, proportion of head to body size... If you switch him to forward facing too young, there is a possibility (however slim, as any chance does at that point become a chance) that he would become fully paralyzed or die as a result in a car accident, while rear facing he would be scared but fine in the same accident. This is a proven risk, and since most accidents happen within 5 miles of home, not traveling often or far doesn't reduce the risk.

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