The American Academy of Pediactrics has released a new statement today on Rear Facing. They have gone beyond their previous reccomendation of "rear face to the limits of the seat". They now say to rear face to the limits of the seat, and at least 2 years old.
Here is the link, and the article.
Keep your toddler in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 (not 1)
New research indicates that toddlers are more than five times safer riding rear-facing in a car safety seat up to their second birthday. Following are some safety tips for car seat use:
All infants should ride rear-facing in either an infant car seat or convertible seat.
If an infant car seat is used, the infant should be switched to a rear-facing convertible car seat once the maximum height (when the infant’s head is within 1 inch of the top of the seat) and weight (usually 22 pounds to 32 pounds) have been reached for that infant seat as suggested by the car seat manufacturer.
Toddlers should remain rear-facing in a convertible car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least the age of 2.
To see if your car seat is installed properly and to find a certified passenger safety technician in your area, visit http://www.seatcheck.org/ or www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm. You also can call 866-SEATCHECK (866-732-8243) or 888-327-4236.
Here is Ruthie rear facing at 19 months. Doesn't she look comfy? Rear facing provides a nice recline for sleeping too.
This is GREAT news!
I want to add that my 27 month old son is still rear facing and likes having a place to rest his feet. My soon to be 4 year old who is FF complains on long (read: 8 hour!) trips: "my tushy is hurting me" -- because his feet just dangle and can't take any of his weight. Why mess with their comfort or their safety if you can keep them RF?
My friend was shocked that my 2 year old was RF -- "I could never do that! I take trips alone and have to reach back to hand him snacks"...as if that's safe to do while driving?!
And I have not found it to be a convenience issue either. Sure, it's hard to climb into the middle seat of our van with an RF car seat, but buckling is just as easy. Only adjusting the harness can be harder in some models, but I feel like there is so little pro to FF, that I cannot understand why people are so averse to the idea of extended RF!
I know many people are used to the '1 year and 20 pounds' rule. But I've been told that was primarily because we didn't have carseats that RF over 20 pounds. Now we do. I know before I knew better, I had the belief that 'If you can do it, it must be safe'. Now I know how wrong I was. Sofi is now 31 months and happily RF :)
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