Thursday, December 8, 2011

On The Topic of Car Seats

I have been asked several times when Micah's car seat will be turned around to forward facing.  I've been told several times that I should just go ahead and turn him.  The answer to the question is that he won't be turned around anytime soon.  The minimum limit before turning to forward facing is one year old AND twenty pounds.  That's the absolute minimum.  The recommended is that a child be turned around to forward facing when they reach the rear facing limits for their convertible car seat.  Micah has an Evenflo Momentum 65.  It's his Cadillac.  The rear facing requirements for the seat are that the child weigh between five and forty pounds AND that the top of the child's head be at least one inch below the top of the seat.  When he reaches one of those requirements, then we'll turn him around to forward facing.
So what's the big deal if we follow the minimum requirements versus the recommended?  First, there is my peace of mind.  Even though we are in a larger SUV, if we are involved in a serious accident, I would prefer to know that Micah is as safe as he can possibly be at the time.  NOTHING is more important to me than that.  Not what other people think of our decision to leave him rear facing.  Not him being able to look out the window.  Not his feet touching the back of the seat.  NOTHING.  Second, there is Micah's physical safety.  Children are significantly safer in properly installed car seats.  A child's head makes up 25% of their body mass versus an adult's head which is approximately 6%.  In the event of an accident, a forward facing child's body is held in the car seat by the straps while their head {25% of their body mass} is thrown forward.  This can break the spinal cord in the worst case scenario. A rear facing child's head and body is cushioned by the car seat, reducing the amount of force exerted on the neck.  And for a visual look at these videos.

I much prefer the second video's scenario to the first. Micah weighed 22 pounds, 9 ounces and was 30 inches tall at his last appointment.  He's got a while to go before he's forward facing. 


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