The news came out today that the official recommendations for child safety seat use were updated. The news wasn’t news to me, however. I had been telling people about the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for years. The child safety seat law is that children must remain rear facing to one year old and twenty pounds. The AAP recommends that children remain rear facing to the weight/height limit of the seat or at least until age two.
We all know how soft a baby’s skull is. Baby’s skull has an official soft spot on top too. I don’t know that people are aware that all baby’s bones are soft. Baby’s spine isn’t fused at one or even two. While a car accident can give an adult whiplash, a small child can suffer internal decapitation. When a child is forward facing the force of a collision sends the child forward and all that’s holding him back is the car seat’s harness. When a child is rear facing, the car seat absorbs the force of the collision instead of the child.
I am delighted that these recommendations are getting the attention they deserve. I wear my seat belt and require my passengers to do the same because it can mean salvation in case of an accident. I want to give my children the best chance of leaving an accident as unscathed as possible.
I truly hope that we are not in an accident. I can only control my driving, not the driving of the people in the cars around us. I would have liked my daughter to still be rear facing, but she outgrew her convertible by height and I won a Britax Frontier. Jessie was older than three when she turned forward facing. I wish more toddlers were still rear facing.