Parents took to the internet in a frenzy after the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that children should ride in rear-facing car seats until age 2 – up from age 1 the previous year. But the advice was not given to make parents’ lives harder; on the contrary, the advice was provided on behalf of safety experts who agreed that a rear-facing child could be better protected against spinal, head, and neck injury in the event of a car accident. But of course what works in theory can often prove difficult in real life as many parents could readily agree that a squirming 2-year-old is certainly hard to convince into a child seat, much less a rear-facing one.
After the Washington Post aired the original post, parents were not shy to express their disapproval of the recommendation: “Do any of the folks who studied this have small children?” one wrote. “Have they tried to keep a squirrelly, anxious and frustrated 18-month-old rear-facing?”
While the recommendation is merely just that – and not a legal requirement – parents are still urged to follow the advice in wake of reasonable complaints. Parents at various child safety seat inspections locations said they’d fear the recommendation would lead to distracted driving if they had to fiddle with or soothe an upset toddler. And, parents also expressed caution on the lines of safety since many growing, long-legged toddlers can hardly fit comfortably in a rear-facing car seat.
“I don’t think we’ve done an adequate job of explaining to parents why their child needs to be rear-facing,” said one expert to the Washington Post. The commenter is a doctor and co-director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Ultimately, the bottom line is simple: rear-facing car seats help to prevent injury in the event of a car accident.
Tips to get started: ways to make the recommendation work for you
It’s common sense: if a safety recommendation is easy, most people will do it. Consider the following tips to help jumpstart your eagerness to comply with the latest child seat safety recommendation.
Make sure your child seat is the right size
One of the first things to check is the appropriateness of the child seat’s size and weight restrictions. A growing toddler can often outgrow their seats quickly. The right size can help you more easily accommodate the recommendation.
Adjust the passenger front seat
Accommodating a child seat in a smaller compact or sedan is often tricky: fortunately, you can do a few things to help improve the situation. Try moving the front seat up, allowing for more room in the rear. Adjust the back support so the front seat does not push your child’s seat uncomfortably and unsafely forward. Even just a few inches can make all the difference in the comfort and safety of your child.
Consider various child seat styles
Parents who have complained about dangling feet and safety concerns about comfort can look for deeper seats, which allow children to sit more upright, helping to accommodate growing legs. Like your favorite recliner, shop around for various styles to see which child seat looks and feels most comfortable for your child.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC
Every personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael Pines works hard to understand the complex details of your case. As specialists in car accident and child injury, the firm has helped many affected families throughout San Diego in seeking fair financial recovery. For a free accident review, call the firm now at 1-858-551-2090.