Our nation’s roads are safer for children than they used to be. Car seat vigilance, in particular, has greatly reduced the risk of fatality among the nation’s youngest passengers. An especially promising Centers for Disease Control study revealed that child passenger deaths decreased 43 percent between 2002 and 2011. Despite this, motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death among children. An easy way to beat the statistics? Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible.
How Long Should My Child Remain in a Rear-Facing Car Seat?
If you’re like most parents, you’re tempted to remove your child from a rear-facing seat far too early. According to experts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children should not leave rear-facing seats until they outgrow them based on height or weight. For average-sized children, this will not occur until at least 24 months. Often, however, children reach rear-facing seat weight and height limits far later. Ultimately, size — not age — should be the determining factor.
How Rear-Facing Seats Keep Kids Safe
You know it’s important to remain rear-facing as long as possible, but why? Turns out, the direction your child faces can play a huge role in whether he or she survives an accident. In a study published in the journal Injury Prevention, rear-facing children under 24 months were 75 percent less likely to die or suffer severe injury in car crashes.
Experts claim that rear-facing seats more effectively protect young children’s heads and necks. With a rear-facing seat, the force of a collision is distributed throughout the entire body, as opposed to focused on a specific area.
Yes, it’s tough to place your child in a rear-facing position, and yes, this approach makes interaction incredibly difficult when you’re driving with a toddler. No matter how aggravating this approach can be, safety should always come first.
If, despite your car seat efforts, your child was injured in a car crash, contact Regan Zambri & Long to learn about your legal options.