When I was a child, there were no car safety seats. We didn’t wear helmets when we rode our tricycles. We didn’t have curving slides that kept you from falling off at the top platform. We played on teeter-totters that are now nearly obsolete. We climbed trees, skipped rocks, jumped off bridges into quarries to go for a swim, and played in row boats in thunderstorms without a life jacket. And I survived! But obviously, a lot of other children did not, or there would not have been so many changes made to keep children safe. Granted, some of this safety-consciousness is really more related to a fear of being sued than for any real concern for children, but the two are not mutually exclusive. If we keep our children safe, then no one has to suffer the heartbreak of loss, and no company will be sued for damages.
The seat belt holds an adult securely to the seat, distributing the combined weight of our body weight and the force of the crash across our hips, ribs, and shoulder. We have strong bones there to help absorb the impact. Little children do not have strong bones like that anywhere. And their necks are so fragile, their heads large compared to the rest of their bodies. In the rear facing position, the impact is distributed all over their body, reducing the risk of a serious neck injury. Turn the safety seat around, and in a bad crash, their necks are likely to snap.
As long as the car seat will allow. Different car seat models will have a maximum height and weight limit for the rear position, usually around 30 to 35 pounds, with some newer ones coming out that go up to 40 pounds in the rear position, and 65 pounds once it is turned forward.
Some moms wonder about their child’s legs being damaged – because their legs will be touching the back of the car seat. Won’t their legs break in a crash? It’s possible. But better a broken leg than a broken neck! There is a popular slogan for this issue being spread across the internet: “Broken legs – cast it. Broken neck – casket.”
All photos by: MammaBunch84