Car seats have come a long ways in the past years, and they continue to progress-and it’s a good thing. Car seat companies are constantly doing more and more research into making the seats safer and safer, and even though they may be starting to carry some higher price tags, you can’t put a price on your Little’s safety, right?
We personally own the Clek Foonf in the Tokidoki All Over print-and I adore it for many reasons. Besides the fact that it’s cute and it’s manufactured in Canada, it’s also one of the top rated for its advanced safety features and has exceptional rear facing height and weight limits-which is what sold me on it. Little is now just over 2 and he will still likely to be able to be rear facing for at least another year.
When we had first purchased a “transitional” car seat for Little, we bought one on sale at Babies R Us for $100-because honestly, I didn’t know any better to do my research. When I began my job that I have now, working for a boss who is certified to install car seats and knows a lot about them, taught me that not all car seats are made equal-and the longer the child is rear facing, the better.
Recommendations are now to have your child rear facing until the minimum age of 2-but if you’re able to with the seat you have-it’s best to try and keep them that way until 4. I know that seems like a long time-but please, let me explain.
In the store I work at, we hear a lot of the same reasoning from parents as to why they’ve chosen to turn their child forward facing before the age of two, or before they have actually outgrown the limits of their rear facing seat. I can offer you solutions and ideas to why a lot of those reasonings still don’t make it a good idea to turn them forward before they should be.
- I can’t see my child when they’re rear facing. What if they’re choking etc? I want to be able to look back and see them.
Mirrors are available at pretty much every major retailer that carries children’s products. Even second hand stores have them available, and they are incredibly simple to attach onto the headrest of the back seat of your vehicle. It allows you to still make eye contact and clearly see Little-even when they are rear facing.
- We have another child who is already forward facing-the younger one fusses because he/she wants to sit like their older sibling.
Children will be children, and this is a very common reason as to why younger children get flipped around too soon. There really isn’t an easy solution per say, you do ultimately need to do what works best for your family-but the risks of forward facing too soon drastically outweigh having to listen to a complaining toddler for a bit. They’ll get over it 😉
- They seem so cramped. They have to sit cross legged. Won’t they break their legs in an accident with their legs bunched up?
Children’s joints aren’t fully formed yet-so unlike adults, that when we sit in cramped position for an extended period of time and end up with achy muscles and joints, children don’t. Same with how kids can get away with their head twisted at an odd angle on their pillow all night and wake up none the wiser. More children actually suffer legs injuries forward facing then rear due to the fact that their legs fly up and hit the back of the seat in front of them, or the front seat is pushed back and compresses their legs. They’ll find a comfortable way to sit. And a possible broken leg is a better option then an internal decapitation.
- My child gets motion sick.
If your child suffers from motion sickness-they likely will forward facing as well. Try placing your Little’s seat in the centre with an unobstructed view to try and curb motion sickness-or look into the many other options to assist with their motion sickness as opposed to turning them forward too early.
Having your child rear facing for as long as your specific seat allows is always the best choice-it’s five times safer for them. If you have any more questions, an amazing web site to check out is The Car Seat Lady.
And just a few extra tips:
- Call your local fire station/police station to find out when they’re hosting their next car seat clinic, to be sure your seat is installed correctly-because unfortunately,statistics show that 9/10 seats aren’t, therefore inhibiting your seat from doing its job properly protecting your child in the event of a crash.
- And always make sure the chest clip is positioned at arm pit level and not down near their belly. In the event of a crash, the clip could potentially cause internal bleeding if positioned too low, instead of helping keep your child restrained.