The results of a study recently published in Academic Pediatrics indicates that an alarming number of parents- 75% of them- make the potentially fatal car seat mistake of switching their children to a forward-facing position before it is appropriate.
A child should be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until he or she is at least two years of age, or he or she exceeds the weight and height guidelines of their rear-facing seat. These determinations have been set in place by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which broadened its guidelines in 2011 from one year of age and 20 pounds.
As a result of the previous guidelines, established in 2002, many parents excitedly turned their children’s car seats to face the front on their first birthday, looking at it as another milestone in their baby’s life. However, parents are actually advised to delay the transition until it is absolutely necessary. Likewise, the ‘age 2’ recommendation is not a deadline, but merely a suggestion to give parents a better idea of when to begin considering turning the car seat around.
Facilitated by distribution of the crash force over the entire body, a rear-facing seat more effectively supports the head, neck, and spine of infants and toddlers in the event of a collision. In fact, children riding in a rear-facing seat have a 532 percent reduced risk of injury than their forward-facing counterparts.
Some parents are definitely getting the message. Among those polled in 2011, thirty-three percent of parents with 1- to 4- year-old children reported transitioning their children at or before the child’s first birthday. A mere 16 percent waited until their children were age two or older. In 2013, when parents of 1- to 4-year-olds were polled, twenty-four percent of them reported turning their child’s car seats at or before twelve months, and 23 percent waited until the child was 2 years or older.
Additionally, the study determined that new parents are more likely to adhere to the AAP recommendations than are parents with older children. While, generally, parents turn their children’s car seats around at 13 to 15 months, which is entirely too young.
Reasons that parents stated for turning their children’s car seats forward included the desire to keep an eye on them while driving, the convenience of removing them from a forward-facing seat, or thinking they were too big to face the rear.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
Denver car accident lawyer Robert Paysinger wants everyone in Colorado to drive safely and buckle up. Yet, even when you do everything right and follow all the state driving laws, accidents can still happen. If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Denver or anywhere in the State of Colorado, we can help. Contact Denver attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
FREE CASE EVALUATION
Fill out the form below and an attorney will contact you regarding your case within 24 hours.