How long should my child be rear facing.
We too had this question when Sequoia reached 12 months. At first we decided to wait and leave her rear facing for a while. Then on a whim one day we turned the seat around after a washing, Sequoia had just turned 2 years old.
Shortly after that my husband and I became certified Car seat Safety technicians for our community and decided to turn Sequoia's Car seat back around. She is comfortably rear facing to this day and will be til the carseat limits are reached.
Why did we turn it back to rear facing? Because of this.......
During our class we found out the force upon our body during a crash is our weight times the speed of the vehicle equals pounds of force.
So my 25 lb baby girl who is still fragile would have a crazy amount of force on her body in a crash.
Put it better. a 20 lb baby traveling 40 mph would have 800 pounds of force on the head, neck, and spine in a forward facing carseat collision. If that child was rear facing the force would be on the carseat and not of her head, neck , or spine.
We can all say, "I'm a safe driver" "Nothing is going to happen" but who plans to get in an accident ever?
The most common reason I hear for turning the baby around is .... Their legs are smooshed against the seat. Babies are quite comfortable with their legs bent. If your child has a leg injury in an accident, (which is actually not common in a rear facing position.) Legs can heal. Head, Neck, and Spine Injuries do not.
We would all be safer in a car if we could ride Rear facing. So why not leave your child in that position for as long as possible. Most convertible seats rear face up to 40lbs today.
If you have questions we are happy to help you at the store, stop by or give us a call.
We hope for safe travels for you and your whole family this holiday season.