Jessica - posted on 04/14/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )
...just thought I would post some information about extended rear-facing since a lot of parents are not informed about it. Some people think that it isn't "safe" to have their children riding rear-facing due to the fact their child's legs are too long. But wouldn't you rather have your child break his legs than his neck if an accident occurs??
"Broken leg, cast it. Broken neck, casket!"
Car seats are not for convenience. They are for safety. Make the choice to keep YOUR baby SAFER. :D
"Rear-facing is the safest position the child can ride in. It is strongly recommended that all children stay rear-facing beyond the minimum requirements of 1 year and 20 lbs. Children should not be turned forward-facing until they reach the maximum rear-facing limits of a convertible seat (that allows rear-facing to at least 30 lbs). These limits are either the maximum rear-facing weight limit or when the top of their head is within one inch of the top of the seat shell, whichever comes first. While most parents are aware that they must keep their children rear-facing "until they are AT LEAST 1 year old AND 20 lbs", very few are told that there are significant safety benefits when a child remains rear-facing as long as the seat allows. For most children, rear-facing can and should continue well into the second year of life. "
"Debunking the Myth's and Misconceptions:
My child screams the entire time in the car. It is distracting to me and I think I should turn him around forward-facing. He will be happier, and I will not be a distracted driver.
This tends to be one of the biggest reasons why parents turn children forward-facing. What they don't realize is that they are taking a huge gamble on their child's safety. It is no fun to listen to a crying baby, especially in the car. However, it is MUCH better to have a crying baby than a dead baby. Many parents have found that children can be MORE of a distraction forward-facing than they were rear-facing. The child can now see you, see what you are eating/drinking, and can demand attention from you.
If your child is still in an infant seat and is crying, trying switching to a rear-facing convertible. If your child is already in the convertible seat, investigate the seat itself to insure that it isn't causing your child discomfort. Check to make sure it isn't pinching, poking, or digging into your child. Have your seat installed by a certified technician. A misuse can also cause discomfort to the child.
A rear-facing seat must always be kept at a 45 degree angle
This statement is very true for young infants. The seat must be kept at 45 degrees so the child's head does not roll forward. A head that is rolled forward can restrict or cut off the airway causing suffocation. Also, if the head is forward and off the back of the car seat, in a crash the baby's delicate head will be slammed down against the seat. If you are having trouble achieving the appropriate angle, use a rolled up towel or foam pool noodle under the front of your restraint (place the towel/noodle in the crease of the vehicle seat).
Once the child has full control over her head (around 6 months), you can install the seat at less of a recline - more towards 30 degrees. For the older child, sitting more upright is safer as it lessens the chance of ramping up the seat and hitting the head on something in the vehicle."