logo AyiConnect Staff, May 14, 2019
Read 3 hours ago
Rear Facing Car Seat: When Will My Kid Outgrow It?

A parent recently asked, my kid is over two years old, and her legs have already reached the back of the vehicle seat. It seems that she’s too snug in the rear-facing seat. The requirement of over 40 pounds might be a stretch since she’s already outgrown the rear-facing car seat. See additional info about car seat weight guidelines here.

Is she too big for the rear-facing car seat?

According to the Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP), infants and toddlers are recommended to be in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible for safety reasons. What is considered as long as possible? AAP recommends following the instructions of car seat manufacturers, which means that car seats nowadays can afford a child until he/she weighs over 40 pounds.

For some kids, 40 pounds may mean surpassing the 2-year-old milestone. Naturally, the growth of the body may lengthen the kid as well, and their feet will touch the back of the vehicle seat. This appears to be a discomfort issue to us, but is it? To an adult, yes, we will feel the pain if we are kept in a position for an extended time. However, to these youngsters, this kind of “Buddha position” is a breeze. They have more flexibility and range of motion in their joints than adults. Have you heard of your kids complaining about a sore neck after they have been sleeping for hours in a car seat with their chin on their chest?

Now that we’ve cleared the perception question, we should try to understand the reason behind the AAP’s recommendation. Studies and tests have shown that forward-facing kids suffer more injuries in their head, neck, legs, etc. than rear-facing kids in an accident. With rear-facing, the body is cradled and sheltered by the car seat whereas, with forward-facing kids, their bodies are more likely to be thrown forward and might hit the back of the front seat, and the pressure from the car seats could cause the bones to break.

Although it is known that a car seat reduces about 70 percent of injuries and fatalities, the AAP continues to recommend keeping a child in a rear-facing position of the car seat as long as possible. It eventually comes down to your child’s developmental needs and your decision to do what is best for them.

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