Manufacturers and safety officials recommend that you place your child in a rear-facing cat seat until the child is 2 years of age or until he or she has reached the height or weight limit indicated by the manufacturer for that seat. When a child outgrows a rear-facing seat, which happens generally when most children are about 2 years old, then the child may be changed to a forward-facing seat. The Houston car seat injury attorneys at Denena Points, PC note that the age limit is just a rough guideline; the height and weight limits are a more precise guide to follow.
But why have your infant or toddler face away from the direction of travel when everyone else in the vehicle is facing forward?
- For one thing, children protected by both the rear-facing child safety seat and the built-in vehicle seat to which it’s attached are cushioned front and back in the event of a wreck.
- Children in rear-facing car seats experience leg injuries from crashes more rarely than other vehicle occupants.
- A rear-facing seat better supports a child’s head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash by distributing the force of the impact more evenly across the entire body.
- A 2007 research study published in the journal of Injury Prevention documented that children below the age of 2 had a 75% lower risk of severe injury or death in a wreck if they were restrained in a rear-facing car seat at the time.
Data has shown that since 1997, the number of crash fatalities among young children has decreased substantially. Our Houston car seat injury attorneys report that the number has declined by almost half, a major achievement. And much of the decline has been attributed to increasing use of safety restraints like child safety car seats, booster seats, and seatbelts. Click the link to read more about the major decline in crash fatalities among children.