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When is it safe to move my baby from a rearward-facing car seat to a forward-facing seat?
The general consensus:
“Your baby is safest in a rearward-facing car seat for as long as she fits in one.” – www.babycentre.com.au
So long as your baby fits into the harness comfortably, generally speaking he or she should remain in it. Age guidelines placed on the individual unit is just that, a guideline – as babies come in all sizes dependant on all sorts of factors.
“If there are no markers, the sign your child has outgrown the restraint is when her shoulders are above the top shoulder harness slot for rear-facing use.” – www.babycentre.com.au
The problem is …
“many parents currently choose to flip their child to forward-facing around his or her first birthday.” – www.parenting.com
A study completed in 2007 in the journal ‘Injury Prevention’ found a 75 percent drop in injury or death in the event of a crash, if the child is rear facing. A separate study found rear facing children are five times safer in the event of an collision than forward facing.
“A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body…”
That’s from Dennis Durbin, M.D., F.A.A.P., a pediatric emergency physician and co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report.
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