Remember the ‘way-back?‘ The ‘way-back,’ for those of you born after 1980, was the ‘trunk’ of the station wagon where I often sat, or laid down during carpool or other times when the back seat was filled to capacity. That was in our Datsun which was kind of a small wagon. Then we got our ’77 Chevy Impala Wagon that had an actual third row seat that was rear-facing. There were no seatbelts involved, let alone car seats. Heck, I remember rolling around the seatbelt-free back seat and even opening the door of a moving vehicle once, before child-locks.
Yes, I am old as the hills, and it’s a miracle I’m still alive to tell these tales.
Today, a NY times article said that rear-facing seats car seats are advised until at least age two. Back when I had Shnook, the rule was 20lbs and one year. I think we actually kept the Shnook rear-facing until he was about fourteen months because we were traveling so much that we just never had time to turn the seat around. But, once the Shnook was facing forward, I’ll admit, he was happier in the car.
I fully understand the physics and biology behind why the car seat should be rear-facing for younger kids and reading the comments on this article has indeed, made me see many valid points. I agree that some points, including the fact that they are happier and less cramped are difficult to reason with in the face of safety.
Also, having been in a minor accident with both a rear-facing newborn, and a forward-facing two-year-old, I’ll admit that I felt bad that the toddler was not rear-facing at the time.
But, I still have a couple of concerns:
1. Being from a family prone to motion sickness- and having watched my niece and nephew barf due to motion sickness at age one-it is possible that leaving a child in a rear-facing position through age two could be very nauseating to say the least. So, say you have a child that gets carsick very easily–for the sake of safety, do you leave them rear-facing and let them throw-up every time they go for a ride? Or even every 5th time they go for a ride? That’s a lot of puke.
2. Are there any statistics on children choking in the rear-facing car seat when they are older since it’s much harder for the parents to see what they are doing- even with those little mirrors?
3. If you’re trying to see your child in one of those little mirrors, or hand them a snack trap full of puffs, aren’t you more distracted as a driver trying to figure out what’s going on with them than you may be if he/she was forward-facing and thereby putting your child at more risk for an accident than were the child forward-facing?
All these concerns stated, unless Fuzz has any issues with #1, we’ll probably keep him rear-facing a lot longer than we did for the Shnook. One bonus is that with Fuzz being rear-facing he and the Shnook can look at each other much easier than were they both in rear or forward-facing seats. At least this is a bonus until Shnook reaches out and smacks Fuzz. Or Vice Versa.
As my husband, who is rather smart (despite his disaster preparedness plan) said: “Basically we’d all be safer if we were rear-facing.” But, unfortunately, that’s not an option.
Do you plan on keeping your baby in a rear-facing seat until two? Why or why not?