In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised the standard length of usage of convertible or rear-facing car seats to at least age 2 or until they reach the weight and height limitations for their particular convertible seat. This can move to well past the child’s second birthday. The reason for the new guideline is that the newest research has shown that rear-facing car seats are five times safer than their front-facing options.
Most convertible car seats allow for kids to stay rear-facing to 35 pounds or well past the 2 year guideline. You can check the height and weight specifics on the back of the car seat. However, if you are looking to extend the life of your convertible car seat past the 35 pound limit, there are only a few options which can carry a child into the 40-45 pound range. There have been mixed reviews on the safety, or sheer comfort, of the best convertible car seat at this point.
Another factor which is considered when using convertible car seats is the seated height. This is the point where your child’s bottom sits to the top of the car seat. Some children will surpass this height guideline before the weight guideline. Check with your car seat specifications for making the proper adjustments in special cases such as this. Find out some of the best convertible car seat reviews at Tot on Board.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics revised the guidelines for when to stop using the rear-facing position at age two, many parents conventionally took the AAP minimum weight guideline at the time, 1 pound 20 ounces, as the milestone for turning the car seat forward. So the issuance of the revised guideline was necessary.
A study in the journal Injury Prevention found that children under two were 75% less likely to experience severe injury or death when faced in the rear-facing position. The AAP hopes the emphasis of this final revision is understood. The guideline stands at 2 years old before turning your car seat forward.
Safety Aspects of Convertible Car Seats
· The benefits of Convertible Car Seats cannot be underestimated in terms of the safety of child riders.
· The rear-facing car seat does a far better job in supporting the head, neck and spine of both infants and toddlers in a crash.
· Having your child in the rear-facing position helps distribute the force of the collision over the entire body, instead of on the most vulnerable areas such as the neck and head.
· It is considered minimally acceptable to face your child forward at the one year mark. Even though it may be easier to tend to your child and engage with them, it is this very behavior which is factored into the safety percentages.
As parents, we strive for perfection in providing for the safety and well-being of our children. We owe it to them to stay current on the issues which are relevant to their safety. We owe it to them to not push the extent of the guidelines which are in place for them. Safe traveling!