Practical Parenting Says Rear Face Is Still the Best

by Collin R Shortino

A new parenting tip: children should be placed in rear-facing car seats when traveling. This was the policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It is still safest for children to be placed in rear-facing car seats until they have touched the age of two or until they have reached the height and weight limit of the car seat as stated by the manufacturer. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration supports this.

As doctors always advise this and parents think of them as crazy, the 2007 study by Dr. Basem Henary and colleagues found that children aged 0-23 months who were in forward position were more likely to be seriously injured during accidents. Accordingly, rear-facing car seats proved efficient in providing more support to the neck, head, and torso.

But why do many parents still do not listen to this? Here are some of their common statements.

They feel that their children’s legs are cramped and they fear they will be injured.
The thing is that lower extremity injuries are very rare for children who are in rear-facing car seats. When they are faced forward, their legs swing about and bang on to things in the car which may eventually lead to injuries. When the child is in the rear-facing position, the natural curled up position will keep his or her legs in place but will still keep him or her comfortable.

When children are rear-faced, they keep screaming in the back and it distracts the parents when they are driving.
The child crying and screaming in the car is going to be the case for both forward-faced and rear-faced car seats because children simply do not like to be placed in them. The best thing parents can do is to find or do something that can keep the baby busy.

If this won’t work, be reassured that it is okay for children to cry. Eventually, this will teach them that crying won’t change anything especially if the situation is for their own good.

Some parents have compact cars and the car seat when rear-faced just will not fit in it.
This problem is true and common among many parents. It is also difficult to address it as it is. However, parents should consider carefully choosing the car seats for their children to provide the ultimate protection and safety for them. Also, parents may consider going to shops that specialize in fitting car seats in cars.

These concerns are true and pediatricians understand the parents’ plight. However, practical parenting still upholds the safety of the children in cars and so all these concerns are outweighed by the benefits. When this parenting advice is followed correctly, children will be safer and sounder in the back. Should anything happen, they are protected. Should injuries occur, the good thing is that the impacts are minimized and risks are lowered.

See Also Parenting Articles by Dr. Randy Cale at

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