Running head: Rear Facing Car Seats 1
Rear facing car seats 2
Rear Facing Car Seats
Rear Facing Car Seats
In April of 2014, I made a Facebook post saying I was excited my son was turning one, and it was time to flip his car seat around to forward facing. About thirty minutes later I got a message from a friend with a link attached. I rolled my eyes because I hate when people tell me how to parent. However, when I opened the link, I learned something new. I learned what a huge risk it was to switch my son’s car seat around so soon and those children who remain rear-facing until at least two years old have a greater chance of survival than those who are forward facing. Laws change, and research is updated all the time. It is hard for parents to keep up with all the new recommendations, but it's critical that we do. To protect children, parents should keep them rear-facing in car seats until age two or until the child exceeds the height or weight limit of the seat.
History of the Car Seat
Car seats have been around since the 1930’s, and over the years they have improved tremendously. The first car seat appeared almost eighty years ago when safety was not the focus; it was made to keep children contained in moving vehicles and allow them to see out the windows (Babble, 2011, para. 2). According to Babble (2011), “In the 1960’s an impact protection car seat was finally designed, but due to a lack of information on the subject, the general public did not embrace the notion of children’s car seats for safety" (para. 2). The 1960's marked the beginning of using car seats to keep children safe, but it was not until the 1970’s that the government put regulations into place. According to Smith (2015), "The very first standard was set in 1971 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which required all seats be held by safety belts and include a harness to keep the child in the seat, though, no crash testing was required. By 1985 the first laws requiring children under a certain age to be properly restrained was passed" (pg. 7). Today, car seats have strict regulations. Over the years, researchers keep finding ways to improve children's safety while traveling in vehicles. Looking at where child safety started, it is safe to say car seats have come a long way and recommendations and safety measures continue to improve. The latest research recommends parents keep children rear facing for as long as possible.
Once car seats were mandated, each year car seat companies made new adjustments and discovered something safer. The experts used to suggest keeping children rear facing until one-year-old or twenty pounds. Many people still follow these guidelines and seem to be unaware of a new standard. According to Consumer Report News (2012), “The latest guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children should...