12/17/2013 - Carseats - forward or rear facing?
While the vast majority of parents might have a general sense of the position in which young children should be situated in a car to ensure optimal safety, a considerable number of them underestimate how long they should remain that way.
A recent survey, which was performed by Italian baby care brand Chicco, found that of the 533 moms and dads who responded to the poll, close to 90% cited that children should be in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. But in nearly 60% of cases, they incorrectly identified the time in which it was appropriate to turn their seats around so they were facing forward.
Julie Prom, child passenger safety advocate for Chicco, emphasized that children should be facing the back of the car for all of their first year, or by the time they reach about 20 pounds.
"It is OK for the child's feet to touch the vehicle seatback or even be crossed in front of the child," said Prom. "Children are comfortable in many positions, unlike us less flexible adults. It is when a child is turned forward-facing that they are at higher risk for leg injuries, as well as head and neck injuries."
The poll indicated that in approximately half of all cases, parents spurned the advice of the car seat manufacturer and opted to position their car seat based on the child's level of comfort.
Every parent wants their child to be contented at happy while riding in the car, but their comfort may come at the expense of their safety. According to recently released numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the many auto insurance claims that occurred in 2011, an average of 340 children were injured every day, many of them stemming from either not being buckled in at the time or using the wrong seat.