Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time for a Carseat Reminder!

The new recommendations for children and car seats have a lot of people confused and, frankly, upset. I've been reading many negative comments from parents about keeping children rear facing past age one and about the extended use of booster seats. I was part of a lively discussion last night, and this morning a friend shared this article that very clearly states why rear facing is safest, as well as why children should stay in 5-point harnesses and boosters as long as possible.

Here are some relevant points:

The central point of the report is that at every transition — from a rear-facing harnessed seat to a forward-facing harnessed seat to a belt-positioning booster — children lose some protection. So the pediatricians recommend that kids remain in each stage for as long as their car seats allow.

"Every parent wants their kids to achieve things as fast as they can," said Dr. Ben Hoffman, a University of New Mexico associate professor of pediatrics who helped write the new policy. "That's fantastic for developmental milestones or for school. But for child passenger safety, that's the wrong attitude to have."
Here is a very frightening video that shows just what happens to children in a crash: The Importance of Rear-Facing (skip to 1:30 for crash test images).

My friend Angela also has a recent post on rear facing.

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