Rear facing car seats for children up to the age of 2 are of paramount importance. Studies have shown that rear facing car seats are far more effective up until this age and separate studies focusing on 1 year olds even compliment these studies. So why is this?
Consider this video:
You can clearly see the action of a front facing seat compared to rear facing. With the front facing seat, the head is thrust forward and will result in some form of injury to the neck. With baby’s necks, this injury will be even more pronounced.
But look at the action of the rear facing seat. See how the head and neck is cradled. You can compare this action to that of catching a baseball with a glove. The impact is lessened and the impact is a much surer result.
Rear facing seats even protect legs and limbs in the accident. In fact, in an impact, no resultant injuries have resulted in limbs or hips while the front facing seats see far more frequent injuries.
Even in rear ended collisions, a study by Mansfield, Yang and Bolte from their 2018 paper, Rear-Facing Child Restraint Systems in Rear Impact Sled Tests, found that the resultant injuries from these types of incidents were also very low, further showing that rear facing is the best option at these young ages.
Both the AAP and NHTSA recommend that rear facing seats should be used until at least the age of 2 and the NHTSA even suggests following the guidelines set by the car seat manufacturer based on its design on when a child can start facing forwards.
It’s therefore clear to see that the reasons for rear facing car seats up until at least the age of 2 are not only necessary but also vital to a baby’s health and lowering the possibility of injuries.
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