Why is Rear Facing Best?
A major topic of discussion today in the car seat industry is rear facing as long as
possible. Just recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed their
statement on rear facing in car seats. They suggest keeping children rear facing for as
long as possible or until they reach the height and weight requirements of the car
seat in the rear facing mode. There are many convertibles available on the market
today that are rear facing up to 40 or 50 lbs.
Why is rear facing important?
A rear facing car seat is designed to distribute the crash
forces across the entire head and body of a child. In the rear facing mode, the
harness is placed at or below the child’s shoulders, so it snugly contains a child from
sliding up the back of a car seat and preventing ejection when properly harnessed
according to manufacturer’s instructions. The seat cocoons and moves with the child
and the crash forces are distributed to the car seat rather than the child.
It’s imperative to check your state’s car seat law because many states are moving to
promote rear facing longer for children in car seats.