Wanna stay rear-facing, but...

April - posted on 05/17/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )




My son is 12 /12 months, 30 1/4inches, and 20 1/4 lbs. We just switched him from his infant seat to a brand new, "big boy" convertible car seat, which I'd like to keep rear-facing until he hits the weight / height limit. (And with as little as he is, I hope that's a long time!) But his feet already touch the back of the car's seat! Is this a problem for anyone else? Is this a safety concern? I haven't found ANY information on what to do when this happens!


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Emily - posted on 05/26/2009




There's never been a recorded case of a child breaking his legs due to his feet touching the seat. And if it DOES happen to you, just know that its easier to fix a broken leg than it is to fix a broken neck!

Lorilynne - posted on 05/24/2009




Show him the video on youtube, just look up "the importance of rear facing". They show lots of kids rear facing that are much older than yours and they just have their legs crossed.

April - posted on 05/19/2009




Thanks, ladies! I was excited to share the information with my husband... he's not convinced that our son "fits" in the rear-facing car seat when his feet touch the back seat. Armed with your comments and the fact that my son doesn't complain, hopefully he'll be rear facing for another year or two!

Ally - posted on 05/18/2009




We do have the same problem. I was eagerly anticipating turning my daughter forward facing since she used to scream from point A to point B but my husband however who is a paramedic and installs child safety seats at checkpoints insists we keep her rear facing as long as possible because it is simply safer to do so. At 14 months (and 22 lbs) she is in a rear facing convertible seat from britax ...her feat do touch the seat but it doesn't seem to bother her... she sometimes crosses them indian style and seems pretty comfortable. In my husbands car the back seat reclines and it gives her a lot more leg room if your backseat can recline you might try that. We plan on keeping her rear facing for at least the next couple of years.

Mary - posted on 05/18/2009




The new reccomendations are to keep your child rear-facing until the limit on the seat. All seats go to 30 pounds rf now and some even go to 35. I am a carseat tech and you wouldn't believe what I have seen from parents turning their child around to soon! My oldest daughter just turned 4 and is 30 pounds. Her seat goes to 35 pounds, she is still rf! And my 10 month old just got put into her big girl seat rear facing! The legs don't matter! Legs can easliy be fixed in a crash...a dead child cant!

[deleted account]

My state law requires that children remain rear facing until age one. When my son was 12 months his feet were also touching the car's seat. He had been crossing his legs for a while but by 13.5 months he started kicking the back seat (and fussing) a lot because he was so uncomfortable. So I went ahead and turned him around to face forward. I have always installed his carseats in the middle of the backseat for added safety. I would continue keeping your son rear facing for as long as you think he is comfortable. I don't think it matters that his feet are touching. Ask his doctor and see what he/she thinks.

Amber - posted on 05/18/2009




Yes, it is perfectly okay for your child's legs to hit the seat! I was advised to keep my daughter rear-facing for as long as she would permit it. There are now rear facing car seats that have a weight limit going up to 25 and some to 30lbs because studies show that small children are so much safer rear facing in the event of an accident. A small child's neck is just not strong enough to withstand a wicked impact when forward facing. Good on you for wanting to keep him rear facing!

Tamara - posted on 05/17/2009




Quoting Krystal:

once your child reaches one year AND 20 lbs - which you stated he is - his seat should be forward facing.
have you tried contacting your pedi for thoughts on this?

Actually the AAP just released new recommendations in regards to RFing in carseats.  They state that a child should remain rear facing to the limits of the seat.


OP, it's ok for your little one's legs to touch the back of the seat.  My 19 month old daughter's legs also touch but she can also cross her legs as she wishes.  If you go over to YouTube, you will see many videos on the importance of continuing to rearface your child.

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