My son already reaches the requirement for a front-facing car seat, as he is over 22 lbs and 29 inches tall....But he is only 6 months old! Is it better to wait until he is 1 year old to face the car seat forward, or is it all about the height and weight?

asked 18 Feb '10, 12:10

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

DazedandConfused
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You may need to consult your local laws and regulations - some governments have pretty strict laws regarding child seat usage.

If the law is flexible, consult with your health provider.

If you find that it's entirely up to you, you should know that when involved in an accident rear facing seats result in a lower rate of injury and death to children who are properly secured - you can check out the FARS Database for vehicle injury data if you want the specifics. If you need help, bug me in the comments to this answer and I'll see if I can update this question another day with the results of such a query.

Note that I said, properly secured above. If the child is over the limit for size/weight for the seat, or cannot be properly secured in the seat, or the seat cannot be properly secured in the car when the child is buckled, then you may be placing your child in a more dangerous position than a better fitting car seat, or a forward-facing position.

If your laws require you to continue to use a rear facing position, but the seat is no longer suitable, search for another seat that will go rear facing and accommodate your child.

While it's not fun to think about, the consequences of not following the law can be serious - when in an accident, some insurance companies may be able to deny some claims (or they might try to, even in cases where it's illegal for them to do so), or only cover partial claims if it's determined that some occupants are not secured properly, making an already bad situation worse. Even if you have good insurance, the person who caused the wreck might not, and then you'll spent countless hours trying to get all the various involved car and health insurance companies to cover issues related to the accident. As the FARS database shows, first responders to an accident do note whether occupants were properly secured, including children in car seats (correct seat for age/size/weight, child secured to seat correctly, seat secured to car correctly, facing the correct direction, etc).

I believe all of my kids were over the weight limit well before they turned one, but we haven't been in a position where we couldn't keep them rear facing until they turned one, and so we waited.

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answered 18 Feb '10, 20:42

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Adam Davis
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edited 18 Feb '10, 20:58

3

+1 - good answer! I would add that the requirements are MINIMUMS and it has been proven that keeping your child rear facing is the absolute safest for the child, as long as all of the components (including the child) are installed correctly.

(19 Feb '10, 02:39) Fun2Dream
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answered 18 Feb '10, 12:51

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cat_g
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We went through this with our daughter who was a larger baby and the recommendations are, 1 year, 22 lbs (law says 20 lbs) and 28 inches. This came from our Public Health Nurses.

According to this Ministry of transportation website, it is recommended that the baby reach all three before being forward facing (at least those are recommendations in Ontario Canada). That being said you have to make sure you carseat is big enough for your baby. If you rear-facing car seat only goes up to 22lbs and 28-29 inches then you need to get a new car seat. I know several families who ended up having to buy a convertible car-seat as their babies quickly outgrew the smaller one.

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answered 18 Feb '10, 20:28

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Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 18 Feb '10, 12:10

Seen: 5,733 times

Last updated: 18 Feb '10, 20:58