Tuesday, December 2, 2008

FAQ: Why Don't You Turn Her Around?

Since Georgia has passed the 1 year and 20 lb. marks, we are often asked why her car seat is still rear-facing.

If you are curious, here are a few links that explain:
(wow, are you still reading these? okay, here's a fourth one) http://www.carseatsite.com/rf.htm

For those not bored or curious enough to click the links, the short answer is that it has to do with the large percentage of a toddler's weight comprised of its head as opposed to the percentage of an adult's weight in its head, and how that affects a toddler in a crash. (Side note: this may be particularly relevant in Georgia's case, since her weight is in the 10th-25th percentile, but her head circumference is in the 90th! We love our little bobble-head.) Although you can turn a child around once it has passed both the 1 year and 20 lb. thresholds, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not doing so for as long as possible (given the rear-facing height and weight capacity of your car seat, that is).

I think we may be outliers right now by doing this, but I have a hunch that Americans will start doing this more and more as people become aware of the facts. It's common in Scandinavian countries for children to remain rear-facing until the age of 4 (I think with different car seats than what we're accustomed to).

Considering how easy it is for us to do this, and that motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children, this just makes sense to me. I know, people used to ride without seat belts with kids in their laps, but hey, this is 2008. And if moms in 2008 are supposed to worry about BPA in plastic baby bottles, then doesn't it make sense to pay at least a teeny bit of attention to this, too? I'm just sayin...

[This concludes the Extended Rear-Facing PSA. We will now resume our regular programming.] : )

P.S. I wonder what the elders of the generation of people with kids on their laps told them? "Awww, that's silly. In my day, we just threw the kids in the trunk." (Okay, probably not, but it's always something, right?)


Danni said...

If we spawn I will be grateful that you already did all this safety research.

Susan said...

I always think it's funny that people get SO excited when they can turn their baby carseat around. I never understood why that is considered such a huge milestone and something to look forward to or "fatten" your baby up for. But, I didn't know all this stuff you posted, either.

Me? A Mom? said...

::applause:: I'm a big fan of extended rear facing. Like the previous poster, I never can understand why people are so anxious to turn the kids around. I mean, you're driving so what does it matter which direction they're facing? Not like they can't see out when they're rear-facing. If anything, I think they can probably see more.

Kate said...

Spawning is a very personal decision, but we would be so honored to serve as your research department! I assume the job entails no pay and no accountability, correct?