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They Say: Keep Babies Rear Facing Until Age 2

baby-carseatYou know how, as your baby neared her first birthday, you found yourself more and more anxious to turn her car seat around?  After all, her legs looked pretty squished, and not being able to see everyone else in the car made her more than a little cranky.

And then she turned one and hit the 20 pound mark and all became right with the world.  Only parents of toddlers today will have to put that sunshine and rainbows moment off for a while — a full year, as it turns out.

The AAP is recommending that babies stay in the rear-facing position until their second birthday or until they reach maximum size for that position.

Cue the groaning.

But look … before you get upset — and believe me, if I still had a toddler in the car, I would too — hear this:  Studies have found that rear-facing tots are 75 percent less likely to be killed or seriously injured in an accident.

And to the idea that sitting backwards increases the likelihood of leg injury, pediatrician Dr. Bull is quoted in this article as saying “…it is far better to send children to orthopedic specialists to have lower extremities treated, than to send them to neurological specialists to have cervical spine injuries treated.”

I think that parents just really need to face the fact that car seat rules are going to continue to get stricter.  A state police officer told me (while installing my car seats) that he kept his kids in a five-point harness until they outgrew it at age 7 — my own daughter is already dreaming of a booster seat at age 4.

Will you keep this safety tip in mind when positioning your toddler?

Photo: treehouse1977, Flickr

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