How long to keep a child rear facing?

how long to keep a child rear facing

How long to keep a child rear facing?

Wondering how long to keep a child rear facing? The short and simple answer is as long as humanly possible, however hopefully after you read more about why you should keep your child rear facing you’ll keep them there past the two year mark!

First, understand that the American Academy of Pediatrics states that the minimum recommended age for a child to move to a forward facing seat is two years old – this means you can keep your child rear facing as long as possible without going against the recommendations of trained physicians and experts.

It’s important to understand that the reason why a child is kept rear facing is because it’s the ideal position for a front end collision. A front end collision is statistically the most damaging, is at the highest speeds, and is far more frequent than rear or side impact collisions. This means that if you have your child forward facing in a front end collision, their poor neck, head, and limbs are thrown forward. The forces of the crash can cause a poor little one to have severe or even fatal injuries.

If, instead, a child is rear facing and they are involved in an accident, then the crash forces are spread across the entire seat which has energy absorbing foam. In addition to the seat protecting the child from some of the crash forces, the child’s neck and head is supported so that there is no violent snap that can cause injuries.

how long to keep a child rear facing

How long to keep a child rear facing?

As you now know, it’s important to keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Many car seats allow for between 30-45 pounds, and there is a height limit of generally around 30”-40”. Keep in mind that the restrictions for each car seat in rear facing position are different. Some car seats may have lower weight limits, while others may be clear up to 40-50 pounds. Finding a car seat with an extended rear facing limit is an ideal situation.

Additionally, just because your child’s knees have to be bent because their legs touch the back seat does not mean it’s time to switch them to forward facing. A child can ride comfortably and safely in the rear facing position with their knees bent until they are well into two or three years of age!

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