Why is it so accepted to front face in the car?

Merry - posted on 09/15/2010 ( 94 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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Christin - posted on 09/18/2010

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Lyndsay, children even in boosters should never never wear bulky winter coats under the harness or seat belt, not even adults should be. Buckle the child and then for the ride in the car, if you want for warmth put it on backwards over the harness or seat belt. It can be worn to the car of course then taken off briefly to put the child in the seat, then put back on backwards. A thin fleece is the thickest that should be under a seat belt or car seat harness for anyone!

Shanna - posted on 09/16/2010

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Hmmm...I find this section interesting. Especially since the AAP specifically states:

"It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their convertible seat. When they have outgrown the seat rear-facing, they should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness as long as they fit."

And with a loose interpretation of their guidelines we get into the 35-45lbs baby in the rear facing should be the standard... but based on whatever carseat was purchased- it did not recommend buying yet another carseat just for rear-facing the child a bit longer. In fact the AAP website suggests alternatives for simply having the child forward facing...they have a specific travel vest that the child wears with the forward facing.

I find it ironic how strongly one might feel about one specific AAP guideline, but then others (I dont mean anyone necessarily here posting) loosely toss the idea of vaccination recommendations or television watching, or solid food introduction... I mean they all pose their potential detrimental risk.

I personally plan to have my son forward facing after one, he is currently 9mo and 23lbs, but is in the 98 percentile for height. I have the convertible seat, and WILL be turning him around.

I wonder, does everyone also follow that same SOP safety guideline of placing the carseat in the center as opposed to on the left or right side for convenience? (It's more rhetorical than anything else...)

Jennifer - posted on 09/15/2010

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My daughter is 9 today and she rode rear facing until she was 13 months old, front facing in a car seat tile she was 5 and in a booster until she was 7. I never say I am a good driver but I AM a safe driver. I watch other drivers, maintain safe distances and do the best I can to be safe. My daughter is my whole world and she's made it to 9... Well plus 9 years ago 1 year was the recommended amount of time to rear face. I know it's a big deal now, but just remember, my mom grew up not seat belted, riding around in my grandma's arms in the car. I don't advocate that by any means, but it's a personal choice. You make yours and let others make theirs.

Christin - posted on 09/18/2010

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laura please join other like minded moms at www.car-seat.org (of course anyone else is welcome too)

This conversation has been closed to further comments

94 Comments

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Kelsey - posted on 09/18/2010

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Laws here say 1 year and 20 pounds... My son is 21 months and is 3 feet i couldnt make him sit in a rear facing carseat... he was in a rear facing untill he was a year

Shaina - posted on 09/18/2010

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I have a daughter who will turn 4 in 3 months and I have been considering putting her back rear facing. My daughter is only 26 lbs and 37 in tall and I am just confused as to whether I should or not. I have a very small car ( Chevy Cobalt) and my husband would not be able to ride in the car if I had her seat rear facing. I also have a 3 month old which is why I can't move my oldest seat to my side. I am unsure if I should because of her size, or just leave her front facing because she is almost 4. My husband doesn't want me to change her back because he thinks she is too old for it. If anyone could give me some advice on this I would appreciate it.

Emily - posted on 09/18/2010

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My son has been facing forward since he was a year old because the way that my seats are shaped in the back you can't get the convertable car seats in tight enough when they are facing the rear. So it was either facing the back with the seat able to wiggle all around or facing forward with it secure in the seat.

Sarh - posted on 09/18/2010

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Christin , that is an awesome website! I think EVERY mother on here should go through the photo gallery! And look at the photos of the misuse.

Mandy - posted on 09/18/2010

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We have a safety1st black and orange covertable car seat when I got hit. Most of the damage was the frame of the car. Luckily mustangs frames are put together in sections so nothing had to be welded back on because if that was the case I told them to total out the car and I didnt want it back. But they took it back to the factory for a new frame. They had to pretty much take the whole car apart and rebuild it but I told them they either did it right for the safety of my child or I wanted the car totalled out. The family chose to send the car back for and new frame because it was cheaper then totalling out the car. fix the car was only a little over 15000 where as totalling the car would have been some where around $28000. There insurance was was taking on the bill so they chose the cheaper route. Plus on top of that they had to pay for my rental car for three months and their insurance did not pay for that.

I do love the car seat that we have well worth the $300 dollars I spent. Huh I just tried to look for it cant find it. But I did find one that looks like it same company same specs much cheaper too. Hummm... Well here the one I found. And that is a heck of a good price! http://www.safety1st.com/usa/eng/Product...

Sarh - posted on 09/18/2010

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Lyndsay, you can still use just a regular booster seat with the car seat belt instead of the 5 point harness I've had to do this with my daughter for about 2 yrs now. She is 4 yrs old, 60lbs and 4 ft tall! She legally can be w/out a car seat by her weight, but I still put her in a booster. She as well was forward facing by I believe 6 months due to her being so big and me not knowing how unsafe ff really is!

Lyndsay - posted on 09/18/2010

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My son outgrew his rear-facing carseat at about 9 months. It's not that I'm not concerned with my child's safety, but I really cannot stuff him in a tiny little seat that he clearly is way too big for. He is now 3 and he barely fits in his forward-facing, 5-point harness seat. He is the size of the average 5 year old and he already meets both weight and height requirements for his seatbelt booster seat (he's about 3.5ft and weighs 42lbs). I'm reluctant to change him, but I know that once winter time comes and he's wearing bulky winter clothes I'm not going to be able to do up the seatbelts on his current seat. To me, I'd rather him be in a booster seat with a properly done up seat belt than stuffed into a "safe" seat that I can't do up.

Christin - posted on 09/18/2010

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Also convertibles for babies over 9mon old or so do not need to be reclined as far as a newborn does. Newborn need the full 45 degree recline for neck support, but older babies can be more upright as long as you are between 30 to 45 degrees from upright you are fine. Most people who say that can not fit a convertible in their car are wrong, they just think they need the full recline, which they do not.

Christin - posted on 09/18/2010

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OK, yes rear facing is safest for anyone! Period! Legs are not a safety issues since in an accident they go upward toward the ceiling not toward the vehicle seat back. Crash tests have shown this.

Also my children will rear face until no longer possible for the safety benefits. My kids are 4yrs 7mon old, 3yrs 3mon old, and 9.5mon old all still rear facing in my car. My older two do forward face in their grandparents cars due to the fact that they do not ride in there often and they always beg to ride with me since they like rear facing so much more. It is comfortable to them and allows them to sleep with out getting kinked and cramped necks in the car.

The link shared above about Joel is very good, also make sure you go to the website with more resources on it. The same thing happened to a four year old girl and her story is on the site.

www.joelsjourney.org is the site

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Wow sounds scary, I too think I push myself too hard to drive tired. Maybe I better stop risking it... Thanks for the reminder, don't drive under the influence of tiredness! It's just like being drunk as you are not reacting quickly or efficiently. Thank god you are ok jessi!

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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my monte was my 1st car. when i flipped it i had already had it for 5yrs and it was 9yrs old (which is why i didn't bother to fix the other damage). i suffer from insomnia so when i'm tired I'M TIRED. i made the mistake of leaving a friends house at 10 at night (she lives in town i live 6miles from her out of town) no more than 2 miles from my house i began to feel very sleepy. began to vear towards a narrow bridge marker and over compinsated. fishtailed for about 100ft, did a 180 in the road and flipped onto the driver side in the ditch (was headed eastbound but was now facing westbound in the eastbound ditch). i was so upset with myself for obvious reasons but thankfully some neighbors heard the squeeling tires and helped me and my son get out of the car. suprisingly my son was still a happy camper. infact the paramedics looked at me asking why they were even called out.

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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So scary to think about, I can imagine it's like a punch in the face and in the bank! I'm glad you all were safe, what seat did you have her in? It's a good one!

Sarh - posted on 09/18/2010

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Mandy, I'm glad you guys are all ok! I almost wanted to cry when I seen the pics of the stang! VERY Beautiful car! American cars are the BEST!
Jessi, I couldn't imagine flipping my vehicle w/my 1.5/2 yr old. My son is 3 months old and while in the car I'm a wreck and think everyone is going to run a red light or not pay attention etc.

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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mandy - i was checking out your pix of your car............nice by the way! i love mustangs! i was actually suprised though to see the lack of damage (to what i expected) from the girl doing 70 in a 35 and you stopped but ford does build for quality! very glad to hear you daughter, dog, and yourself were alright!
i had a chevy monte carlo which i flipped with my son in the back in his infant carrier when he was 1.5/2 months old (so he was rear facing). when the recker flipped my car back over he was amazed of how minimal the damage was. it only looked like i side-swiped something. my broher was able to pull the fender out, the quarter panel had a small dent towards the bottom, the fuel door was twisted which i was also able to twist back, the tire wasn't even blown out just knocked off the rim, i busted the mirror, and the nose cone had some damage. all in all the wrecker bill was the most expensive part at $200, mirror was $60 and tire repair was free by sam's club

Mandy - posted on 09/18/2010

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Our experince was scary the total damage to the car was over $15,000. And yes I did not only have the car seat in my car but also had one in my hubbys car as well. So I had already spent $600 So after the wreck the grand total came to $900 on car seats. He did have a problem with me spending that much the second time around but I told him "You do want our kiddo save right? Thats what I thought." We also had a head support on the car seat. The ones you can get up at walmart. The cop said this added additional safty and was a very smart buy. And I also have a mirror that contects to my rear view mirror it is movable so when she is not in the car I can flip it up in it hinding postion. I dont find it a descration. Its right there under my rear view so I can see her when I look in the rear view. And the wreck we were in was my first ever wreck. I knew it was bad because we were on a busy street I couldnt get out to see the damage. But I also couldnt get the the car to move. And two guys on harleys drove by and said "Holy f*** I would kill that f***ing stupid kid!" That's when I knew it must have been very bad. Made me cry because I had done all the body kit, stripes, spoiler, it wasnt till they moved us and I got out of the car and saw the damage and started crying. Then the girl came up to me said she was very sorry and that she didnt see me. The cop was like its the middle of the day how do you not see a black car with bright orage stripes on Halloween??? Thats when he found out she had been texting instead of watching the road. My husband had taken our daughter to the hospital to get her checked out. Our dog Calla Doo was also in the car. She was very scared but not hurt as I had a seat belt harness on her. Otherwise she would have gone straight into the dash. Thank god everyone was fine. Cars can be replaced people and pet cannot. Here are the pictures from teh wreck: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=93... you'll have to excuse the langage I was a bit up set over the whole thing.
My Car:

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Tara, their necks can decapitate. Or break. Either causing death, or paralysis. Picture whiplash with a Mellon for a head. Their head is insanely big for their necks until about age 4, which is why They recommend rearfacing until then. Just look it up, it's EVERYWHERE! There's videos, testimonials, articles, etc.

Sarh - posted on 09/18/2010

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Oh, and Jessi, I know full well how hard it is being a single young mom w/no help! I had my daughter at 16, was working, finishing high school (a yr early) and taking care of my daughter. I had no type of help from her father.. he made it worse w/the constant stress, drama, and bs. After high school I was then working 2 jobs while going to college and taking care of her. I know how it, I know it is hard as EVER! Sounds like your parents are supportive which is a great help. Good luck! And I wish I was able to get a mani/pedi! I only had a mani for a friends wedding which was paid for by the bride (long time friend and she insisted). But this post is not the time for any of this discussion. lol.

Sarh - posted on 09/18/2010

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Jessi, I was just asking questions, if you find it rude well thats how you took it.
Taza, front facing... babies neck could break. Go to the first page of this post and watch the video or google videos on front facing car seats. I as well just asked my fiancee that question, if the back window would blow in and if the jack in the trunk would come through the back seat.

Tara - posted on 09/18/2010

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What are the dangers of front faceing ??? because i see dangers in rear faceing like shattering windshelds going into babies faces!!!

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Yup, I'd never spend that much on me! But for Eric, I'll do it. I mean I buy all our clothes second hand, really everything second hand. Toys, furniture, appliances, decoration. So I figure I've saved soooo much money buying used, I can swing a freaking expensive seat, it makes me feel safer in the car as I'm unnormally nervous in the car. I think it comes from not being in control of his safety. I've been rear ended once, didn't even leave a mark but it's forever changed me in the car. I can't get him safe enough to make me feel better. So maybe I'm overcautious, but why would that be bad right?

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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owe i understand you! and it is a good thing to put prices of things people buy on a regular basis w/o thinking about it into perspective.

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Yes, lol, me too. I have had one mani, but it was like 15 dollars. But it's just perspective. Like I think about the time my friend spent "only" 150$ on a new outfit for a date, like that's a lot of money!

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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ok but someone who can afford to get mani/pedies all the time can most likely afford to buy that w/ blinking an eye. in almost 22yrs i have only had 1 mani/pedi...that was on vacation purchased by my parents as a mother's day gift from my son. but of course i'm a country girl so for me to go out and get them on a regular basis would be useless and a waste of money.

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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Just a little perspective on the $300 seat. I just googles my local spa prices and a manicure and pedicure will run you total of $100. So I can assume if somone would skip three manicures and three pedicures anyone would have a extra $300. I know everyone isn't getting these, but it's good to put prices in perspective!

Merry - posted on 09/18/2010

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I'm ok with 300$ seat as it will last my son from 2-8 years. No booster needed. Also since I will buy it when we have our baby #2 that baby can use erics current convertible seat until he/she outgrows it approximate 2 years.so it doesn't feel like a lot of money when I think it through. But as I said there's always the $40 convertible seat at walmart it's rearfacing until 35lbs which means about two years for bigger babies, three years for littler ones.

Bec - posted on 09/18/2010

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well i live in australia and the car seat i have for my bub complies to australian laws and regulations...it is rear facing up tp 9kg or then forward facing up to 18kg

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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and i do believe from reading your comments with "why do you need to purchase a $300 car seat?!?! Also!!!! $300 at one time is better then $100 3 times for different car seats... " "Are these new from the store (not resale store). I will only buy a car seat from a store (not resale)" and not to mention your ENTIRE last comment i am clearly not being the rude one in this conversation.

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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i'm not getting rude with you i'm simply stating that's how i got them so inexpensive. i am a single 21yr old working/student mom not recieving physical or emotional support from his father. i do what i can to protect my child to the best of my ability but unfortunately in this day and age $ is a big factor in life.

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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i did get what i paid for.....there are such things called sales and coupons! toys-r-us has a key card savings club where members recieve special deals plus they were just running a deal where you bring in 1 of 5 used items to trade up to 25% off for a brand new item.

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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all 5 were evenflo...the infant carrier was gifted my godparents, 2 convertible seats (1 for me, 1 for my parents) and now 2 boosters (1 for me, 1 for my parents) all brand new and all purchased from toys-r-us.

Sarh - posted on 09/18/2010

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Are these new from the store (not resale store). I will only buy a car seat from a store (not resale). Also, I never buy the cheapest car seat I can find. I strongly believe in "You get what you pay for".

Jessi - posted on 09/18/2010

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sarah - the carseat laura is talking about is $300. and for me my son has now had 5 seats and i still have yet to reach the $300 mark.

Sarh - posted on 09/17/2010

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Mandy, that had to of been extremely scary!! Sorry to hear you had to go through that, but also very glad to hear she is alright! I looked up reviews on my son's infant car seat "Evenflo Aura", a lady was hit head on by a drunken driver, totaled her truck, she limped away w/scrapes and bruises and the baby was untouched! I'm a nervous wreck in the car and have not been in an accident with either of my 2 in the car. However when I was 6 wks pregnant my fiance and I were crossing the street (walking), we had the green light and MAY BE 5-10 feet infront of us a little red sports car ran the red light... so close to hitting us! :( smacked into an suv and flipped it 3 times. This happened a yr ago the end of October. It still plays over and over again in my head! SORRY I KNOW THIS IS GETTING OFF TOPIC!!!!!

Mandy - posted on 09/17/2010

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I spent about $300 on the car seat my daughter was in when we got hit. I think it was well worth it... Twice! Not to mention that fact that she can grow into it.

Sarh - posted on 09/17/2010

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Jessi- why do you need to purchase a $300 car seat?!?! Also!!!! $300 at one time is better then $100 3 times for different car seats... $100+ for an infant seat.... $100+ for a convertible car seat and or a 5 point harness, and then another $100+ for a booster seat. Now that my son is 14 wks old I really wish that I would have just bought him a convertible car seat and never gotten the tiny infant seat that he will only be able to fit into for a short while longer.

Sarh - posted on 09/17/2010

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With my daughter I was only 16 yrs old when she was born. She was a big baby from birth (9lbs 13.5oz and 22 1/2ins). I really regret (not that anything bad happened) front facing her when she was way too young (under a yr old) because of how big she was and I was afraid of her breaking her legs and yes I was very uneducated on the dangers of front facing, but I was following the recommendations on the car seat and she had clearly out grown it.

Now that I am more educated on the whole rear facing car seat thing, I am beating myself up for it!! I (her mother and protector) put her in serious harms way!!! That is my most miserable thought! :(

In my case I did not know the facts and I was young (I'm not trying to use that as an excuse because I don't find it to be ANY type of an excuse). Now, knowing the facts I'd love to have her in a rear facing car seat, but there is NO way that would be possible as she is about 4 feet tall!!!!

My son is 14 wks old and already 24 inches long at his 8 wk check up, the infant seat only goes to 20 or 25lbs and 29inches long, but I will DEFINITELY be purchasing a convertible car seat for him!! And keeping him rear facing for as long as possible.

Plus, some parents use an excuse of a better view forward facing, ummm no I bet not. All you see from the back seat is the back of the front seat, and cars ahead of yours. If the child is rear facing I would assume a better view and more "entertainment" for the child as they can see out the back window and watch the clouds, see plains, etc. They also make mirrors w/all sorts of colorful designs around them designed for a mother to be able to see her baby through the rear view mirror... now I don't drive, but how distracting would this be? Honestly? I would think it was very!

Jessi - posted on 09/17/2010

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laura, to all mothers their childs safety is their #1 concern money is only material but not everyone can afford to purchase a $300 carseat.

Joann - posted on 09/17/2010

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yeah the laws changed due to safer built cars but i would still rear face no matter what and i dont like how im seeing alot of moms putting there infants in the front. im a safety freak when it comes to my child and vechiles

Mandy - posted on 09/17/2010

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I would say the law has changed because of the cars have changed. They are now much safer then they used to be. And so are car seats. I know from being in a horrible wrech when my daughter was very young. She was 15 months old and already in a front facing booster seat pre doctors ok. It was halloween 08 and we were driving around enjoying the day(I have an 05 mustang black with orange stripes so we love halloween) And the guy in front of us was turning so I slowed down and stopped but the teenager behind me in a big jeep was text and instead of braking she hit the gas. Rearended my car doing close to 70 in a 35. The force of the impact impaled the trunk of my car. Krinkle up the rear side panals. But luckily the reinforced steel frame kept her hurt any of us in the car. My daughter was very shooken up. I was very upset the car was not drivable but we were alive with not a startch on us. She was just fine thanks to the well built car and the very good carseat she was in. We did get the car fixed and bought a new(same model only newer) car seat. I sent a thank you to Ford for helping keep my child safe in what most people think of as the most impractical to own when having a kiddo. And then I sent a thank you to safety first for keep her safe! But I must say I was very ready to break that 16 yr olds phone. She had her license for three months before getting it revoked.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2010

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None of the above. She turned around when the doc told me it was ok and she is much happier to ride in the car. I can also see her face in my rear view when I tilt it down so it's easy to check on her if she starts coughing or crying. At least mine is in a car seat. You can't imagine how many people I see rolling around with multiple kids in the car, and not one of them in any kind of restraint.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2010

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Let me try to clear up what I'm trying to say. The way you stated the comment made it seem like (at least to me) that those who were saying "they survived" were "stupid" (by the use of duh in the beginning) because those who aren't here anymore can't argue their point. I'm not trying to argue, just trying to point out where it could've caused some hurt feelings in the crowd. :)

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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Well i don't think anyone can disagree with the statement "those who died in cars are not here to say so" so that's pretty safe place to say duh. Maybe it's not used the same everywhere....

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2010

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You might want to be a lil more careful about your wording next time if your here to help because the word "duh" has every implication that someone is stupid.

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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And to clear the air, I never once used the word 'stupid' in any post here. Just saying is all, I'm very careful to not use words like that. I'm here to help, not hurt.

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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Jessica I called no one ignorant or stupid. It is an ignorant comment as it has no base in anything. Yes we survived but that doesn't mean everyone did.

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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Lacye, there's a carseat at walmart for $40 that rear faces until 35lbs.

Sandra, with a tall one like yours you might look into the sunshine kids radian xtsl, it's pricy but can be rearfacing until 53inches and 45lbs! Marvelous seat! Then after that it can be used front facing with a 5 point harness until 80lbs and same 53inches.
I highly recommend it if money is second to safety in your mind :)

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2010

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Laura, that's quite offensive to call people ignorant or stupid. Maybe you should start respecting the living.

Merry - posted on 09/17/2010

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Those who died in cars are not here to say so..........duh! Its a VERY ignorant comment to say 'we survived' but I hear it again and again. Please think about tat statement and maybe don't say it again. Let's respect the dead.

Ella - posted on 09/17/2010

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Well I front faced my children earlier than most because my children are nowhere near small. My children were 20 lbs and very tall long before they turned 1 and they just couldnt fit rear-facing anymore. Now that worked for me and my family and we all have to do what is best for us individually. I would have loved to keep my children rear facing for peace of mind but their knees would literally be in their chest or uncomfortably up the back of the seat. My oldest just turned 3 and she is already about 49in. But to each his own I dont think we should criticize others for what they choose to do with their children just do what you do for your child and let me do what I do. We all survived not sitting rear facing for forever and I think we should all focus on being good aware drivers. But anyways, no love lost.

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