Tessa - posted on 05/23/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )
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.
Expert Statements confirm that rear-facing is safest.
Highlighted passages are links to original articles.
Rear-facing CRs provide the best protection from injury for any child that can fit in one.
- SafetyBeltSafe USA technical encyclopedia, written by Kathleen Weber, retired Director of the Child Passenger Protection Research Program in the University of Michigan Medical School
...a child should remain rear-facing for as long as possible...even beyond their first birthday, increasing their protection until they are 30 to 35 lbs.
- Dr. Michael Sachs, Pediatrician and Child Passenger Safety Expert
...for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back
- American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement