i just read an article today about a little girl dying in a car accident. she was three. and was using a booster seat with the adult seatbelt. it breaks my heart.
a carseat is not something you carelessly strap your kid in and hope for the best. if used properly, it can save your kids life. if used improperly, it can cause more harm.
the straps are meant to be pulled tight, and the chest clip on the chest at armpit level. if the straps are left too loose, your child could be ejected in a crash.
what is extended rear facing?
it just means that you keep your child rear facing in their car seat longer than the law, which is age 1 AND 20 lbs. the AAP is now recommending to keep children rear facing until they are at least 2. but also recommend rear facing longer...until they reach the height or weight limit of their rear facing car seat.
it shouldn't be a thing you chose to do as a parent. it should be mandatory. a no-brainer. we try to do everything else we can as parents to keep our kids safe. why doesn't this have as much value as it should?
getting to move your child to forward facing is not a milestone that should be celebrated and something you look forward to them accomplishing, like crawling or walking. it means they are at more risk for serious injuries or death if they were in a crash.
leaving them rear-facing does not mean you are treating them like 'babies' and i promise you they won't mind staying rear facing.
i hear a lot of reasons why parents switch to forward facing...
'they don't fit anymore because their legs are too long'...no worries, they can cross their legs!
'they can't see out the window'...nonsense. lyla points out everything as we are driving.
and the excuses about the seatbelt straps not being tight enough...
'i'm worried he won't be able to breathe'...nonsense again. these straps are meant to be pulled tight.
'he doesn't like it'...of course he doesn't! but do you want to risk your child's life? my kids don't have a choice. they get over it and it becomes a routine.
it won't bother them staying rear facing longer...and if the extent of a car accident injury would be a leg injury, that is much less severe than a head or neck injury if they were forward facing.
car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in children here in the u.s.
just food for thought.
go and research. be your child's advocate.
if your child is already forward facing, you can turn them back around. i'm sure they won't mind. it's for their safety. kids die too often from car accidents.
and please make sure you are installing car seats and buckling properly and securely.
i am constantly checking my kids' straps and making sure everything is in position before we take off in the car.
it's better to be safe than sorry.