Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I believe so strongly in Extended Rear Facing Carseats.

 This morning I was ridiculously pleased to see that Transport Canada has updated their site to say:

"Stage 1: Rear-facing seats are placed at a 45-degree angle so that your baby’s head is supported. This makes it easier for them to breathe. A snug harness will keep your baby safe in a sudden stop or crash. Keep your child in the rear-facing seat for as long as they are still in the weight/height range of the seat itself.

This maybe something you have heard about on lots of pages lately, but I feel it is  such an important message that I am going to speak about it agin here. Extended rear facing is something that I feel to be a safety essential. The Law says your child needs to be a minimum of 22lbs and a year. But who wants to operate their life on minimum! Minimum safety is not good enough for me. 

Simply put rear facing has been proven to be 500x safer than front facing in a crash. Because a child's head is so much larger compared to their frame it is wrenched forwards with great force in the event of an impact, this can cause "internal decapitation". Those words just cause a chill in my spine! What they mean in essence is that the head remains attached to the naked eye, but the structures inside the neck are actually separated. If you are a visual learner I challenge you to put those words into YouTube, the crash test videos really speak for themselves. You may notice that when a forward facing child is involved in a frontal crash (which are the majority) they are propelled forward onto the straps and their limbs and head go flailing. However if they are rear facing they are simply pushed back into the padding of the seat and the movements are much more contained.
Don't worry I fixed her chest clip ;)

You will commonly hear the argument "But they look so squished, they can't stretch out their legs". But this is not a problem in reality. Children simply cross their legs or prop them up and are totally comfortable. There are hundreds of picture of children rear facing into their school years completely comfortably, I challenge you to google image search to see for yourself. I will say though that I think it is important to factor this in when purchasing your seat. Our seat is very generous in the foot area, and at 2 years old, she still cannot touch the seat with her feet. Or the naysayers may say "Well if their feet are folded like that they will break a leg in a car crash". Well simply put would you rather see a broken leg or neck? (though there is a super low incidence of any leg damage at all in any RF-ing car crash.

We will for sure be keeping Evie turned as long as possible. She is almost 2 and is happy as a clam being turned around.  For now I am just a carseat safety enthusiast, but am eagerly anticipating my own carseat training.

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