Monday, May 3, 2010

Extended rear-facing carseats

On last weeks Thankful Thursday post, one of the things I was thankful for was "extended rear-facing car seats." After I had posted this, I realized that many people may not know what this is. Some of you may wonder why we are choosing to do this.

Well, this is actually something that I had never heard of until after our little "L" was born. I always thought that once she out grew the infant car seat that she would be put into a forward facing car seat and that's just how it was. So when I heard the words "extended rear-facing" I was intrigued.

After much research, talking to parents who choose to extend rear-facing their children and seeing video of how a child's body reacts in a typical car crash, I was convinced.

Typically, an infant is kept in a rear-facing car seat (usually one that has a base and carrying handle) until they are 20-25 pounds or 1 year of age. This has been the "norm" for a long time. Well, new research (this is just one of many studies) is showing that extending the time a child is rear-facing for as long as possible is actually safer and causes less injuries and deaths. This extension is done by placing a child into a rear-facing convertible car seat after they have out grown their rear-facing infant car seat or starting them in one to begin with.

There are now many models of extended rear-facing car seats of choose from. They range in price from $120 to upwards of $400. We have found a great one that is rear-facing from 5 to 40 pounds then turns forward-facing up to 65 pounds for about $140 (look on Wal*marts website for this price.) This will mean "L" will be rear-facing till she is 3 to 4 years old (unless she out grows it in height first) and then turn forward-facing, in the same seat, till she is ready for a booster seat.

Here is a great sight for more information on the benefits of extended rear-facing. Please, look over the whole site, it's a good one! And here are the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on child safety seats.

So, that is why we are choosing to do this. We may be called weired (wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last) but I will feel good knowing that my child is in the safest place possible when we are out and about!

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