Why Do I Have To Put My Child In A Rear-Facing Car Seat, And When Can I Face Them Forward?

It is natural to assume that a child would want to face you and see out of the vehicle instead of facing the rear of the car. However, it has been strongly recommended that all children face the rear of the vehicle until they are one year and 20 pounds. Additionally, it is the law in Florida that children should be in rear-facing car seats until one-years-old or 20 pounds.

Researchers and child safety advocates say that the rear-facing position is the safest position a child can ride in. In fact, many believe that children should not be turned forward until they reach 30 pounds or when the top of their heads are within one inch of the top of the car seat shell. Parents might not realize it, but children are better protected in a rear-facing car seat for as long as they can be in one.

The longer a baby can ride in a rear-facing car seat, the better the infant’s spinal cord will be protected in the event of a Florida auto accident. No one wants a child to suffer from a severed spinal cord, paralysis, or a life-long spinal injury. For this reason, you should leave your baby rear-facing for as long as it is safe to do so.

Forward-facing car seats do help protect toddlers, especially in rear-end crashes, but a child can suffer far more serious neck and head injuries in a forward-facing car seat in the event of a frontal or side-impact car crash. However, a child cannot ride in a rear-facing car seat if he or she surpasses the maximum limits set by the car seat manufacturer. In order to determine when it is appropriate to move your child to a forward-facing car seat, you should read the manufacturer’s guidelines and the state laws to make sure you are providing your child with the best protection possible.

Even if you have done everything correctly, unfortunately, children can suffer injuries in collisions. If your child has been harmed as a result of another’s negligence or due to a car seat defect, you should contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld to speak with an experienced South Florida injury lawyer today at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″] in a free consultation.