Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yes, he's still rear-facing...

"You haven't turned J's seat yet? But he'll be happier if he can face forward and know he isn't alone," is something that I hear so often that it drives me crazy! I did my homework and am well aware that both the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommend that children rear-face in their carseats until the age of 2 at a minimum or until they max out the weight limit of the carseat for rear-facing.

                                    Here is the reason for the current recommendations:

Nowadays, most carseats have higher weight limits for both rear-facing and for using the harness in general. Most carseats have a rear-facing limit of 35-40 lbs and a harness limit of 65-80 lbs. J's carseat is the Evenflo Triumph Advance which has a weight limit of 40 lbs for rear-facing and 65 lbs for usage of      the seat forward-facing. Here's how I see things...

The whole point of a carseat is to protect a child's life in the event of a car accident. No, the reason for the current recommendations is not some crazy conspiracy of carseat manufacturers to keep people spending money as many like to believe. That said, why not do everything in your power to make sure the seat is used the best way possible in order to protect your child? No matter how safely you drive, there are always crazy people on the road and accidents do happen. So yes, I will keep J rear-facing at least until he is 2 unless he maxes out the height or weight limit of his seat to do so much to the annoyance or chagrin of others. And yes, I will keep J in a harness for a long time too rather than move him to a booster seat the minute he turns 3 as some of my friends do. 

So here are a few important things to also keep in mind when it comes to carseat safety:
  • Carseats have expiration dates! Over time, the plastic does break down which will eventually inhibit the ability of the seat to protect your child. Generally the expiration date is 5-6 years after manufacturing date and it is now printed somewhere on the seat (usually on bottom).
  • Heavy winter coats should not be used with a carseat. It causes compression in the case of an accident and your child can fly right out of the harness.
  • Carseats are supposed to be replaced if you get into a car accident because unseen damage can occur that will cause the carseat to not do its job in any other accidents.
  • And as I already blogged about, rear-facing til at least 2 is no recommended. BTW, I give J some toys and play his music in the car and he's perfectly happy RF because he has no idea that there is another way :)
My little man is perfectly content to be RF in the carseat :)


  1. My daughter is still rear facing and still in an infant car seat because she hasn't reached the weight limit for the seat yet.I have known about the rear facing recommendations for months and while it would be nice to see my daughters pretty face looking at me,while I drive,I plan on keeping her rear facing until two,also.

    Thanks for posting the cute picture of J:)

  2. Aww glad you like the pic. It's good to know that other mamas are choosing to extended-rf as well. I get a lot of slack from family members for it!