Most parents and caregivers are always eager to take the rear-facing car seat and see their baby seat on the actual car seat. They ask, ‘when can I put my child to face forward in a car seat?’
Firstly, it is a commendable effort to get your baby a rear-facing car seat for safety purposes. And having your baby face forward in a car seat is a significant milestone. However, it is not a milestone to be hastened. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies remain in rear-facing car seats until they are up to 2 years of age.
This article answers why you should not hasten your about your baby facing forward in a car seat and when a baby can face forward in a car seat.
Why rear-facing car seats?
As a general rule, car seats are made to minimize the possibility of a car crash. Rear-facing car seats are the best car seats you can get for the safety of your newborns, toddlers, and also your young nursery kids.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that your baby’s rear-facing car seat can be turned around or uninstalled when they are up to 2 years of age, that depends on your baby’s size at that period how well she can adapt to the safety seat designed for her.
The seats are designed to provide adequate protection to your baby from any form of car mishap till he reaches a particular weight. Ensure the seat you choose for your baby meets the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards just like it is set in the United States.
When it comes to using cars, they start with the above-mentioned rear-facing seats. As they begin to add weight, they switch to forward-facing seats before adapting to seats called booster seats.
Rear-facing car seats are best suited for newborns and toddlers. The more they outgrow it, the more you’ll need to buy another. Installation of this kind of seat should always be positioned to face the rear of the car.
The mortality prediction for a toddler involved in an accident while sitting on such a seat is low and minimal due to its features. The back of the safety seat tends to cradle the baby’s head, neck, and torso in a crash.
It is usual for a toddler’s neck to be not strong enough to support the head due to the early stage of the developmental process, so in any case of a crash, it is the seat’s job to offer adequate protection.
These safety seats are also convenient due to their ability to double as carriers, chairs, or rockers when not used in the car, which means they are mobile and flexible.
Some of the models can be detached from the support system, which translates as taking it from the vehicle while leaving its base in the car.
It can be wheeled around, but you shouldn’t place such seats with your baby in it on a high surface whenever you have detached it.
They are easy to use but avoid your baby spending too much time in it wherever he finds himself, whether at home, school, occasion or anywhere because it can limit the movement of your baby and chances of stimulation which are very crucial and essential in the process of developing skills related sensory and motor movements.
How to pick the right rear-facing car seat for your baby
- Ensure you master the installation of the seat before application. Please don’t do a trial and error installation or depend on tutorials before applying it. Instead, practice it physically and master it well before your baby starts to use it.
- The visit should be payed to a car seat inspection center, safety experts, health departments. Or law enforcement to seek aid or double-check. The installation you have done on your baby’s rear car seat.
- Try to avoid the use of a second-hand car seat. Please don’t use a seat that might have previously experienced. A crash because it may have damaged parts that may not be visible to you.
- Ensure you have an expert and certified child safety practitioner in your service.
- Check through if there are manufacture dates, instruction guide, and model numbers in the car seat before applying it. If not, try not to use it as it may have cracks and may have been a recalled car seat.
Rules to follow to protect your baby
- Do not place the rear-facing seat in the front seat of the car with a passenger airbag.
- In the case of a two-seater car. The passenger seat is pushed to the last it can reach the back of the car.
- A manual cutoff switch should be installed to disable the airbag. If you place your baby in a booster seat at the front seat.
When can a baby face forward in a car seat?
In determining the type of seat a child needs, one needs to consider the child’s size, age, and developmental needs.
In some cases, facing backward may become uncomfortable for the child. An example is long distance journey as the child’s leg may be cramped against the seat. Yet, a baby’s face shouldn’t face forward in a car because they feel uncomfortable.
A baby who is above one-year-old seat may be temporarily facing forward, which depends on the type of car seat.
The car seat should be well-positioned and tightened; use all straps appropriately. It will provide protection and safety for the baby.
A baby can be kept in the rear-facing seat as long as you can as it is the safest means available to keep the baby face forward.
When a child has outgrown, the rear-facing seat should use a forward-facing seat that has a harness. This can be used when the child is at preschool age.
After the forward-facing seat stage, the child can then use a belt-positioning booster seat; this can be used when the child is between the ages of 8 and 12.
The safest age a child can face forward in a car is at age 13. For ages below that, parents are advised to take preventive measures stated above, which shouldn’t be done at the front seat of a car but the back seat.
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