Lots of mommies “flipped out” this week when the American Academy of Pediatrics released their new guidelines for toddlers and car seat positioning. I was one of them. This change is drastic and the repercussions are nothing short of frustrating. Backwards seating for toddlers means a truly twisted experience for handing out snacks during a family road trip. The new guidelines mean the family minivan loaded with that awesome entertainment system will be almost useless during the terrible twos. The guides means less leg room for your growing tot and they mean another few hours spent shifting seats and shoving your hands into those latch systems . . . .
As frustrating as these changes are, they are necessary. A tremendous amount of research has gone into these guides. The changes are important and can, and will, save lives. Please take the time to educate yourself on the guidelines and reasons the changes are vital.
The 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention showed that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that a rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body.
Read these guides and educate yourself on the changes. They may open your eyes to what is smart and safe for your children!
Safe driving Smarties . . .
Thank goodness mine are over 2!!! This would have driven me crazy. And my old panicked today when I thought he might have to go back in a booster, quickly did the math and he was right at 4'9" so he took a big sigh of relief.
Does anyone have any thoughts on where to put their legs? I'm not opposed to rear facing, but my 9-month old is already touching the seatback with her legs. Folding her up for another 15 months isn't going to make her happy in the car (and might that cause other issues in a crash), especially if she gets car sick when backwards like her mother and sister.
Great question! First, many car seat companies are in the process of creating seats designed for rear facing riders. While I'm not 100% sure how, these new seats will allow for more leg room, I know models are being worked out. Tots facing backwards will naturally cross their legs in a angel or fold them up. I do agree this sounds uncomfortable, but I'm always surprised by my daughters flexibility! I will continue to research today and get a more solid answer about the new car seat deigns!
I had my 2.5 year old forward facing until I was in two car accidents in 3 months at the end of this past year. After the accident I bought a Britax Boulevard that rear faces until 40 pounds (she is currently 25 lbs) and flipped her back around again. We were lucky that she didnt sustain any injuries in the crash but when I think about how little it actually takes to sever the spinal cord it makes me sick. She can't watch the DVD player anymore but when I think about what's really important (safety!) so what. She has never complained about sitting cross cross apple sauce or having her legs out to the side. I always remember broken leg; cast it. Broken neck; casket.