Forward Facing Vs Rear Facing Car Seats

Safety is important to parents. Car seat safety for children has become more than just a parent’s concern, as laws and regulations have been put in place to keep children in a booster seat until they are 8 years old here in Illinois. The American Academy of Pediatrics (Source: Online Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends rear facing for children up to age 2, whereas it use to be age 1. They even recommend children 13 and under ride in the back seat of the car – mostly because of airbags.

I am not refuting safety, but sometimes I think things can get a little too regulated. I mean my 12 year old is taller than my 13 year old so we allow her to ride in the front seat. I just think this should be a common sense decision but because of lack of common sense other parents get more regulations. I realize that there are probably more cars on the road than ever and paramedics, doctors, nurses and emergency rooms are witnessing an increase of fatalities and injured children. But I don’t think it always depends on just the type of car seat used, the driving skills and attentiveness of the drivers all need to be factored into the equation too.

Statistics. According to Crashtest.Com, frontal and frontal offset crashes combine for about 72% of severe crashes. Side impacts are about 24%. Rear and rear offset crashes only account for about 4%. The NHTSA FARS database shows similar numbers. The odds of being in a frontal crash with a fatality or very serious injury are many times greater than being in a severe rear-end crash. Rear-enders are more common at lower speeds, though most injuries in these crashes are not as severe – typically, whiplash injuries to adults, especially passengers lacking proper head restraint. ~ Car-Safety.org

In countries like Sweden, children are often kept rear-facing much longer, even to 3 or 4 years old. Auto related injury and death rates for rear-facing children in Sweden are near zero because of this. ~ Car-Safety.org

Unlike Sweden, the UK doesn’t even have access to to much rear facing car seats information. They are actually campaigning for more education in regards to this very topic.

We have always used a rear facing car seat until our little ones have been a year or so old. It depended upon their size and weight. As I have already stated, in recent years it’s been recommended and even established that rear facing car seats are much safer for children. Based on what you know and have read, what kind of car seat do you use for your children – rear facing or forward facing and for what ages?

This post is sponsored by Discover Media.

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20 comments

  1. Tammy says:

    I’m glad my kids are out of those.

  2. Donna says:

    We used rear facing until our son was about 14/15 months old.

  3. Kelly says:

    We have a rear facing seat and will have try to keep the Little in it until he’s 2.

  4. I think that parents should use common sense alongside regulations to do whats best for their child.

  5. I wish my toddler was in rear facing just a little longer since all the stats say it’s so much safer, but she’s tall and I can’t see it being comfortable

  6. Lolo says:

    We kept my little guy rear facing until he was almost 3.

  7. I like rear facing for little ones and once they’re older change to front facing.

  8. Penelope says:

    The law changed after we moved our first little guy to forward facing, but with baby #2 we are planning to keep him rear facing.

  9. All of my boys stayed rear-facing until they were 3 or older. My youngest is still in a booster at 6.5. he’s smaller than my other two were at the same age, but even they stayed in boosters until at least 8 years old.

  10. HilLesha says:

    I think things are a bit too regulated as well, even though I am all for what is best for the child.

  11. I think the regulations have to wiggle a little bit to accommodate different children and their sizes, etc.

  12. Colleen says:

    My daughter is almost seven and still sits in a booster seat. My husband hates it but I see no reason to move her.

  13. I don’t even remember what kind of car seat we had, it was so long ago!

  14. It is so strange how things have changed over the years, when my kids were little not much was even said about car seats.

  15. Maggie says:

    I’ll be using a rear facing for my newborn in December!

  16. Jenn says:

    We did rear-facing until 12 months then forward so she wouldn’t be so bored in the car. I’m all about safety, but agree that we can be over the top at times. My poor little mother at 4’9″ tall should technically be in a booster and not allowed to ride up front. Come on!

  17. debra p says:

    I think whatever is best for each individual case makes sense. Rear facing to start, I believe.

  18. Connie says:

    The hubby is a fire fighter – you can probably guess my opinion.

  19. Courtney says:

    A safe seat is very important.

  20. Commen sense people!! lol

    I’ve seen parents let their kids sit up front and they are so small. It’s scary!

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