Researchers from the University of Michigan’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital have just published a paper that might shock some people. According to the research, twenty-four percent of parents polled turned a child’s car seat around before the child reached twelve months of age.
Why is this a big deal? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be in rear-facing car seats until two years of age. The Academy updated its guidelines in March of 2011, but most parents turn car seats around at twelve months or one year.
Why Parents Disregard the Recommendation
The study found that parents disregard the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics for various reason, but mostly because removing a child from a front-facing car set is much easier than removing a child from a back-facing seat. Another reason included the need to see a child while driving, which is hard to do if the child is facing in the opposite direction.
The U.S. is not alone in its recommendation to keep children in car seats until they are much older. Canada also recommends that parents keep children facing the back seat until they are too old for the car seat, or they outgrow the car seat according to the weight allowances listed on the seat itself.
Why Face Kids the Opposite Direction
The muscles in a baby’s neck and back are weak. If a parent stops short while in traffic, gets rear ended, or is involved in any other quick movements while driving, the child’s head could snap backwards and hit the seat in back of their head. This is dangerous. Alternately, facing a child in the opposite direction ensures that any kind of impact will not cause unnecessary damage to a child’s neck, since a child’s neck will not hit any kind of seat when stopping short.
In other words, it is within the best interests of a child for parents to keep children in rear facing car seats until they are much older, and in many cases that age is the age of two years old. While it might be more convenient to face a child in the opposite direction, it has been proven that facing a child backwards is much safer. Before you move your child around, think about these recommendations!
Playing it Extra Safe
It can be kind of scary bringing a newborn home for the first time, and then driving around in your car with your new child — what if someone hits you? Or, worse, what if you back into something from sheer fatigue? Facing your child in the right direction will help minimize impact, but you can also install a wireless backup camera in your car, so that you can see everything that’s outside of your vehicle. Sometimes, it’s hard to see what’s behind you (especially if you are sleep deprived!), but it becomes much safer and easier if you have the best backup camera you can buy installed in your car.
Call us today to learn more about rear view cameras, and we’ll help you find the best camera for your vehicle. We offer the best prices in addition to the best cameras, and that adds up to the ultimate safety device for you and your family. In the meantime, make sure that your child is facing the right way. Even though turning a car seat around might be easier for you, it’s not the best thing for your child. If you aren’t sure whether or not your child has outgrown a car seat, read the manufacturer specifications that are listed on each seat, and do not exceed weight limits. Instead, purchase a new car seat.