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I LOVE that these articles are getting out! Parents have been told for years that a 1 year old is safe forward facing.. and that is SO not true. The bones of a 1 year old are not strong enough to support themselves in a forward facing crash. Even the AAP now recommends Rear Facing until a minimum of 2 years old, but 4 years is even better! They make car seats now that can rear face up to 35 or even 40 pounds! (check out the Graco My Ride 65).
Stop by the Car Seat Safety board on JustMommies for more info
Kate is my first baby that I've done extended rear facing with. I had no clue before then that it was safer for babies, toddlers, and children to be rear facing. I get a lot of weird looks for having her rear facing, but I'm certain we are doing whats best for our family!
There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a free lunch: children in rear-facing seats are more likely to have their legs or knee joints injured in an accident. However, that's the risk I'd much rather take. Leg/knee injuries are, of course, far less likely to be permanently debilitating or fatal than spinal injuries.
I wonder if those rear-facing station wagon seats like the ones Volvo used to offer resulted in better crash outcomes if well-anchored...
Remember: a newer, high-quality small car is probably safer in an accident than a 15 year old SUV, due to advances in automotive engineering (search YouTube for the crash tests done by Top Gear and Fifth Gear - you'd MUCH rather own a newish Renault than an older Land Rover had for about the same price).
My son cried every time we drove in the car until we turned him around. I get really car sick and I know facing backwards makes it worse, so I always thought the same happened to my son. Does anyone know if that's true? My son's older now, so backward facing doesn't work, but I'm still wondering if anyone know if the car sickness thing is true?