Thursday, April 2, 2009

Keep those kids rear facing!

the American academy of pediatrics has finally updated their recommendation to say that children should stay rear facing in their carseat till they are at least 2 years old.... its about time.

just a quick run down, children should be rear facing at least till they are 2, but really till they reach the max rear facing limit on their convertible carseat (provided they have 1 inch of shell over their head). most convertible seats RF to 33 or 35 pounds.

Collin rear facing at 16 months (24#)

then once forward facing they should remain in a 5 point harness till they're around the age of 6. children under the age of 6 are not able to control their impulses which means they are not going to sit properly in a booster. of course if they still fit in their harnessed seat then they should continue using that until they reach the limit since a 5 point harness is safer. (4 years in the MININUM for a booster). most seats use to only harness to 40# but there are many seats out there that harness past that (50/65/even to 80#).

Connor - 3 1/2 and harnessed (35#)

then its time for a booster. the booster seat helps to properly position the adult seat belt on a non adult body. they should remain in a booster until they pass the 5 step test
  1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
  2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
  3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
if you answer no for any of those then the child should continue to use the booster.

and above all the seat needs to be properly installed and properly used. the harness should always be snug and the chest clip should be at chest level.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I keep threatening my 6 year old that if she doesn't sit in her booster right, I'm going to switch her back to a harness, but now I think I might go ahead and do it.

Krystyn said...

I plan on keeping my 2 year old in the 5-point as long as possible!

Poppy said...

Good advice and I'm so glad the guidelines have been updated. We use the Sunshine Kids Radian car seats. I love them. My 5 yr. old granddaughter still uses her Radian 65. I was totally not comfortable with the way she looked in one of the booster seats. So we bought the Radian 65 for both her mom's car and her dad's car since we have one for her in our car. My other granddaughter won't be two until the end of July and she is still rear facing. She is a little petite girl and we will probably keep her rear facing for quite some time past her second birthday.