Rear Facing Car Seats? When to Turn the Kids Around for Safety
There may not be anything worse than placing the car seat in a car. They tend to be difficult to secure. Yet, you know how important they are for your child’s safety.
Many parents recognize the benefits of a rear-facing seat right away. And, most recommendations are for children to remain in this position as long as possible. It is safer. You do not want to file auto insurance claims for accidents where your child has injuries as a result.
Why Are Rear Facing Car Seats Better?
Placing a car seat into a car is a complex process. The goal is to secure the seat so it does not move. When you position it to face the rear, meaning your child is looking towards the back window, safety improves.
If an accident occurs, the child has a lower risk of not moving from the impact. He or she also does not face the back and forth motion of the vehicle. This helps ensure the child has more protection in these events. Even in a car seat, a child that is front facing could fly through the window or suffer whiplash. Therefore, rear-facing seats might prove more secure.
But, for How Long?
The thought of a child crying and being out of reach because the seat is rear facing can be frustrating. However, the longer your child sits like this, the more protection he or she has. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some insight. They recommend the following:
- Children should remain rear facing until they are at least two years old.
- They should remain rear facing until they reach the highest weight and height limit listed by the car seat manufacturer.
- When the child outgrows the current car seat, replace it with a forward-facing seat. However, ensure it has a harness across the shoulder.
Car seat installation is also important. Most police stations and fire departments can help. Make sure your child is properly in place every time. Car insurance can help protect damage after an accident. However, it cannot help to minimize injury to your child.
Be sure your child has protection as much as possible when on the road. No matter their age, the longer they stay rear facing, the more security they have in the car. This can also give you peace of mind when caring for your child. Rear-facing may be difficult, but it is protective.