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  1. #1
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    Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    My husband and I were talking about how safe rear facing is. I read a report that police recommend rear facing for as long as possible and are trying to get doctors to agree. My pediatrcian told me to turn her around at 11 months, because she is so long. He said even though 12 months is the law, he would give me a note saying he recommended turning her around due to her length.

    My husband says he sees why rear facing is safe in all accidents, with the exception of rear end accidents. He says then she is safer forward facing and that rear end accidents are the most common. He wonders why they don't test these seats in rear end accidents.

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    You dh is misinformed on the actual statistics. Frontal crashes are the most common, by a landslide. Rear-end crashes are actually the most rare.



    You need to print out the American Academy of Pediatric's own policy statement on carseats, which has said since 2001 to keep kids rear-facing to the maximum limits of a convertible carseat. So many peds seem to not stay up-to-date with their own information!

    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...cs%3b109/3/550
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member unityco's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    'kay, there are people here MUCH better suited to respond, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that even in a rear-end accident, (whether you rear-end someone, or they rear-end you,) the majority of the crash force is going to send you forward. If you rear-end someone, the car rapidly decelerates while your body does not, so you move forward faster than the car until your belt and/or airbag stop you. If someone rear-ends you, it's probably because you're going slower or are stopped. Again, you will be thrown forward by the sudden force from behind. In both situations, your child is better to be thrown against the back of their seat than against their harness. The only application I can think of where this would not be true is if you got into accident while backing up. Side impacts are another story, but RF is better for those too.
    Last edited by unityco; 02-08-2007 at 03:53 PM. Reason: clairity

  5. #4
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    i'd be tempted to print off the pics of spinal development and take them in to the ped. and ask which he'd rather repair - a leg or a spine.
    Kelly, mom to Aaric (7.5 and 65 lbs), Mikayla (6 and 52 lbs), and Xander (20 mo and 25 lbs)
    No more Huskies due to a wreck...
    Xander's in a MA, Mikayla in a GN, Aaric is temporarily in the pink Vivo...
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  6. #5
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    ...and "for children in car seats, forward-facing kids are four times more likely to be injured in a side impact than rear-facing kids." -www.carseatsite.com/statistics.htm

    If you look at the difference in the crash tests of RFing versus FFing (if ou haven't already) that will probably make a big impact on your decision as well. It is very powerful.

    Personally, I was uninformed and turned my daughter FFing at 12 months and 20/21 lb. When she was almost 1.5 I was doing some research and ended up turning her back RFing till she was over 2.5 and at the rear-facing weight limit. I just wrote a story in the coffee break forum about hos she climbed into her "old" RFing seat that I had installed for a baby I was watching and wanted to ride home that way. She's 3.5 and definately knows what is comfortable!

    Also, are you concerned about keeping her rear-facing because of her comfort or do you think that somehow her legnth would make her unsafe? Just curious so we can help you more.


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
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  7. #6
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    You all rule!!!! Thanks for the info. I couldn't believe my ped said that and in front of dh at that!! I pretty much make the decisions though, he lets me as he knows I read up on it and know more than he does about this subject.

  8. #7
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by skipspin View Post
    ...and "for children in car seats, forward-facing kids are four times more likely to be injured in a side impact than rear-facing kids." -www.carseatsite.com/statistics.htm

    If you look at the difference in the crash tests of RFing versus FFing (if ou haven't already) that will probably make a big impact on your decision as well. It is very powerful.

    Personally, I was uninformed and turned my daughter FFing at 12 months and 20/21 lb. When she was almost 1.5 I was doing some research and ended up turning her back RFing till she was over 2.5 and at the rear-facing weight limit. I just wrote a story in the coffee break forum about hos she climbed into her "old" RFing seat that I had installed for a baby I was watching and wanted to ride home that way. She's 3.5 and definately knows what is comfortable!

    Also, are you concerned about keeping her rear-facing because of her comfort or do you think that somehow her legnth would make her unsafe? Just curious so we can help you more.


    Yes, that definitely was a concern of mine as they look so cramped with their legs hitting the seat. And of course, my mom and sisters think I am crazy for wanting her rear facing. My stupid sister turned her boys around at 4 months cause she said they just cried and got bored rear facing.


    I have been told by ped and many others that her legs are already touching the seat and she will be able to turn around soon. I don't want her front facing, I want what is safe for her, and I know you all will help me with that!!!!

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member o_mom's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by unityco View Post
    'kay, there are people here MUCH better suited to respond, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that even in a rear-end accident, (whether you rear-end someone, or they rear-end you,) the majority of the crash force is going to send you forward. If you rear-end someone, the car rapidly decellerates while your body does not, so you move forward faster than the car until your belt and/or airbag stop you. If someone rear-ends you, it's probably because you're going slower or are stopped. Again, you will be thrown forward by the sudden force from behind. In both situations, your child is better to be thrown against the back of their seat than against their harness. The only application I can think of where this would not be true is if you got into accident while backing up. Side impacts are another story, but RF is still better.
    This is backwards. In a rear-end crash, you will be thrown backward initially (bodies in motion stay in motion and all that...) Your car will be thrown forward, but you, being a body at rest, will tend to stay at rest and the force acting on you will push you toward the rear. The reverse will be true if you are in a frontal impact - including if you rear-end someone. The best way to visualize is to take a couple of matchbox cars and balance a peanut on top. Crash them into each other and see which way the peanut goes.
    Last edited by o_mom; 02-08-2007 at 09:46 PM. Reason: 'cause I can't spell and sometimes it's important....

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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    This is backwards. In a rear-end crash, you will be thrown backward initially (bodies in motion stay in motion and all that...) You car will be thrown forward, but you, being a body at rest, will tend to stay at rest and the force acting on you will push you toward the rear. The reverse will be true if you are in a frontal impact - including if you rear-end someone. The best way to visualize is to take a couple of matchbox cars and balance a peanut on top. Crash them into each other and see which way the peanut goes.
    That is what I thought.

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member unityco's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Oops, sorry. Knew I should have left it to the experts You mean, though, you will be throw backwards if YOU are hit in the rear, right?

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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by unityco View Post
    Oops, sorry. Knew I should have left it to the experts
    It's ok...thanks for the effort {hugs}

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Sadly (frustratingly & infuriatingly) too many Pediatricians are not current with their own Policy Statements as per the American Academy of Pediatrics -- Jenny supplied that document ... I have printed it off & brought into Ped offices before & I suggest you do the same.

    Also, if you click my signature images you'll be taken to my website: I recently updated the carseats page with detailed RF information + other informative links, one of which is full of printable materials to share with medical professionals!
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
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  14. #13
    Senior Community Member o_mom's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Yes, I missed an "r" there. :-) Second sentence should read:

    "Your car will be thrown forward, but you, being a body at rest, will tend to stay at rest and the force acting on you will push you toward the rear."


    off to edit.....

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    Question Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    This is backwards. In a rear-end crash, you will be thrown backward initially (bodies in motion stay in motion and all that...) Your car will be thrown forward, but you, being a body at rest, will tend to stay at rest and the force acting on you will push you toward the rear. The reverse will be true if you are in a frontal impact - including if you rear-end someone. The best way to visualize is to take a couple of matchbox cars and balance a peanut on top. Crash them into each other and see which way the peanut goes.
    I've been thinking a lot about this recently. I live in a city with over 2 million crazy drivers. I see at least 2 Rear-end crashes every time I travel, even if it is just to go to the store. Here they are WAY more common than front-end. My huge concern is all the videos we see of mock crashes with rear-facing vs. forward facing, well, my child would be thrown just as terrible if someone (which they sure will) slammed into the back of me while he rear-faces. Then, not only that but then glass from the windshield (if hit hard enough) will go flying in his face. I just witnessed this when I went to get gas last night. So now what do I do?

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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I've been thinking a lot about this recently. I live in a city with over 2 million crazy drivers. I see at least 2 Rear-end crashes every time I travel, even if it is just to go to the store. Here they are WAY more common than front-end. My huge concern is all the videos we see of mock crashes with rear-facing vs. forward facing, well, my child would be thrown just as terrible if someone (which they sure will) slammed into the back of me while he rear-faces. Then, not only that but then glass from the windshield (if hit hard enough) will go flying in his face. I just witnessed this when I went to get gas last night. So now what do I do?
    In less severe crashes, rear-enders are indeed more common. These kinds of crashes can still cause serious whiplash injuries. This is generally not as much of a concern for children in a harness or high back booster, as they have the necessary head restraint. The forces in these crashes are also much less than in a frontal crash, and not nearly as much of a concern for a child in a properly installed and used 5-point harness, regardless of which direction they are facing.

    In crashes with a fatality or serious injury, they are much less common, accounting for less than 10% of all severe and fatal crashes year after year.

    http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html

  17. #16
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I live in a city with over 2 million crazy drivers. I see at least 2 Rear-end crashes every time I travel

    Except, every time you see a rear-end crash, you are also seeing a car that crashed frontally. The car in the back.

    A rear facing seat pivots toward the back of the car in a rear impact. This means the car seat and child travel together, eliminating the pull of the child's head on his neck. And the back window is made of safety glass designed to shatter in a way that does not leave shard shards.
    Kimberly
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by safeinthecar View Post
    A rear facing seat pivots toward the back of the car in a rear impact. This means the car seat and child travel together, eliminating the pull of the child's head on his neck. And the back window is made of safety glass designed to shatter in a way that does not leave shard shards.
    Wait, so what does this mean for those of us who tether rf?

  19. #18
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by safeinthecar View Post
    A rear facing seat pivots toward the back of the car in a rear impact. This means the car seat and child travel together, eliminating the pull of the child's head on his neck. And the back window is made of safety glass designed to shatter in a way that does not leave shard shards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Wait, so what does this mean for those of us who tether rf?
    I think safeinthecar was referring to the strain that a child's head and neck would receive if forward-facing during a crash.

    It's true that a rear-tethered seat won't rebound toward the back, and there is some thought that for a young infant, that might increase strain on the neck. Even so, that force is much less than the force of the initial impact and the strain a forward-facing child would experience.

  20. #19
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by safeinthecar View Post
    Except, every time you see a rear-end crash, you are also seeing a car that crashed frontally. The car in the back.

    The statistics don't count a rear-ender as 1 frontal and 1 rear end crash, nor do they count head-ons as 2 frontals.

  21. #20
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: Important question about rear facing vs forward facing

    Quote Originally Posted by LISmama810 View Post
    I think safeinthecar was referring to the strain that a child's head and neck would receive if forward-facing during a crash.

    It's true that a rear-tethered seat won't rebound toward the back, and there is some thought that for a young infant, that might increase strain on the neck. Even so, that force is much less than the force of the initial impact and the strain a forward-facing child would experience.
    Yes, that is what I was trying to say, the neck loading we see in ffing facing children is eliminated. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    The statistics don't count a rear-ender as 1 frontal and 1 rear end crash, nor do they count head-ons as 2 frontals.
    I was responding to the PP statement that rear end crashes seemed more common because PP sees them daily. I just wanted to point out that there was another crash that was going unseen there.

    But that is interesting information. How do the statistics count crashes then?
    Kimberly
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

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