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  1. #41
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by joolsplus3 View Post
    Of course we are all safEST rearfacing! But there's no real evidence that older kids (the ones who are too heavy or tall to rearface) are in danger in harnessed seats, despite the neck stresses measured in crash tests.
    right. especially when they are *properly* harnessed in their seats. many of the FFing fatalities in that study resulted from misuse... but not from being FF per se.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

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  3. #42
    CPS Technician christineka's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    I finally got through the whole study. Although, I know rfing is best, I don't think the study gave irrefutable evidence of that fact. They were comparing kids in rfing seats to 3 year olds in booster seats and younger kids in ohs, 3 point harnesses, and incorrectly installed/used seats. I'd like to see comparisons to properly harnessed and installed forward facing seats.

    I recently read the car seat section in my van manual. (I should have done it earlier, but at least I have.) It says a forward facing car seat cannot be installed in the lapbelt only location unless the tether is used. The van is a 1997. I've now got the car seat in that location and tethered.

    I've got to figure out something for my cargo.

  4. #43
    CPS Advocate Kat_Momof3's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    You know, I just don't see how they can ignore the fact that then the children OVER 4 would be safer in a harness forward facing rather than a booster seat forward facing.

    So, yes, sweden is ahead on one respect, but let's give the US some credit for working to solve another problem that is also important... though we haven't made nearly enough progress yet, the Nautilus and EFTA alone are really helping.



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  5. #44
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    I'm sorry but I cannot give anyone credit until I know what is safest for my child. And I don't know because I don't see why USA and Sweden doesn't agree on this field. And frankly I trust the Sweds more.

    Sweden has a very low death rate for children killed in car accidents(so they obviously does more than one thing right - not just RF). Two kids where killed in car accidents in 2007, on drowned and the other got killed in a highspeed sidecrash. Before that they had a period of 17 months without any young child being killed. In comparison; in Norway aprox. 12 children under the age of 15 dies in car accidents each year(last year the number was 13). In Norway the population is under 5 million people, in Sweden they are over 9 million people. There is not much difference in traffic pattern in Norway vs. Sweden, or yes in Sweden they have higher speedlimits than in Norway(still less children is killed there).

    DS 9YR FF in a high back booster seat(ERFing until he was 6YR), DD 4YR ERF in a Axkid Kidzofix.

  6. #45
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by joolsplus3 View Post
    Maybe we should all PM Adventuredad, he's not been around for awhile, but he DID offer to send us all giant RF Swedish seats when he WAS here...
    Back in the game after five long weekends down in Germany (Don't get me started on car seat safety down there.......)

    If I had the money I would gladly send all of you a super-duper Swedish seat for free.
    Last edited by Adventuredad; 07-08-2008 at 05:32 PM.
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  7. #46
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvbabies57 View Post
    it also helps that you could get the tax back. Its ridiculous...like 15 or 20% sales tax.

    www.globalrefund.com has a lot of info on it. It saved me $45.

    Not that I'm advocating importing illegal seats or anything

    Mama! if you come visit me, you can play with the TW. It may stop your envy of that particular seat for a few minutes at least. its a PITA to install! lol
    VAT is 25%.......
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  8. #47
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    I wonder how many of the RF seats (in Sweden) were used wrong? Probably at least almost (just?) as many, but the errors couldn't counteract the overall safety of just being RF in a sturdy (not the plastic yogurt cups that passed for infant seats for decades here...) seat...
    I'm just guessing, too
    I've seen the US claim that 90% (or is it 95%) believe seat is installed correctly but a high percentage of seats are still installed wrong. I've read the rate in Sweden is 50% but just as jools says, I have a feeling that it matter less while rf. Don't know if that makes any sense. Many issues semm less life-threatening while rfing.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joolsplus3
    Maybe we should all PM Adventuredad, he's not been around for awhile, but he DID offer to send us all giant RF Swedish seats when he WAS here...
    Back in the game after five long weekends down in Germany (Don't get me started on car seat safety down there.......)

    If I had the money I would gladly send all of you a super-duper Swedish seat for free.

    I am interested in seeing a report between 5 point harness and high back booster fastened with the cars seatbelt. Because in Sweden(and they are experts on this field) they say that one should RF for as long as possible then go over to a high back booster seat. Here it is recommended to stay harnessed as long as possible, am I right? But here in the USA one haven't got the choice to have the child RF up till 4 yrs or maybe even longer before turning the child FF, as we have here in Norway/Sweden. But here one also wants to keep the child harnessed in a 5 point seatbelt longer than 4 or?
    We've discussed this at length before and i think we agreed on boh being "about as safe" (nice and vague). It's true Sweden recommends booster instead of harness and have excellent safety stats to support it but most kids are also older when starting to use boosters. We're unlikely to see a test between them since it's unbelievably complicated, expensive, and also involved lots or moral and subjective test criteria. All coming from source at the main crash test facility here in Sweden. He says booster is recommended but both pass testing and are safe.

    I use a booster for my son according to the Swedish recommendations but I think harness is about as safe. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. For young kids, harness is obviously (at least to me) better. Isn't a large problem that many US kids start using boosters too young? For the people using harness seats for older kids I would recommend keep using them since any difference would be small IMHO. Harness is also a better choice in situations with special needs/difficult kids.

    Discussing booster vs. harness in older kids is going into very detailed issues. I personally think that discussion is very educational and interesting. But sometimes I wish more focus would go to the very simple things that would save many lives. Like use a seatbelt for older kids (even if not ideal) and also a car seat (any car seat).

    You know, I just don't see how they can ignore the fact that then the children OVER 4 would be safer in a harness forward facing rather than a booster seat forward facing.

    yes, sweden is ahead on one respect, but let's give the US some credit for working to solve another problem that is also important... though we haven't made nearly enough progress yet, the Nautilus and EFTA alone are really helping.
    This is just not true, or at least the two methods are similar in safety. And the Swedes record regarding any car seat safety makes any other country look terrible (except Norway which are good as well). Anyway you look at it (not by opinion, by safety stats), US is doing horrible. That goes for infant up to 14 year old, not just rf toddlers. But hopefully improving.

    The US child fatalities are horrible but in a way a little misleading IMHO. Many kids die but a high percentage are also not restrained at all. It somehow makes the ff look worse. I feel like much of the Swedes success is that 95% of kids are restrained.

    If 95% of US kids were restrained, wouldn't the fatality rate go down dramatically regardless if ff, rf, harness, or booster?

    I just found this thread, (thanks jools!), but feel slightly better about being such a pain-in-the-butt-rear-facing-stubborn-bitchy-Swede
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  9. #48
    CPS Advocate Kat_Momof3's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    This is just not true, or at least the two methods are similar in safety. And the Swedes record regarding any car seat safety makes any other country look terrible (except Norway which are good as well). Anyway you look at it (not by opinion, by safety stats), US is doing horrible. That goes for infant up to 14 year old, not just rf toddlers. But hopefully improving.

    The US child fatalities are horrible but in a way a little misleading IMHO. Many kids die but a high percentage are also not restrained at all. It somehow makes the ff look worse. I feel like much of the Swedes success is that 95% of kids are restrained.

    If 95% of US kids were restrained, wouldn't the fatality rate go down dramatically regardless if ff, rf, harness, or booster?

    I just found this thread, (thanks jools!), but feel slightly better about being such a pain-in-the-butt-rear-facing-stubborn-bitchy-Swede


    I didn't really word my post very well. I guess I was just angry that they are looking at what other countries do wrong, but not what they themselves have not addressed... you know?

    I mean, I'd love to see them also harness kids till at least age 6.

    I do think, though, that it is amazing that they rearface as long as they do and I wish you COULD send us all Swedish seats (free or not free... we'd love them and Ruthie would love YOU for it because she STILL wants to get in the rearfacing seats when she sees them... she just has never taken to forward facing).

    I do think these are equal problems and, in the long run, I think that Sweden is ahead of the game... but we ALL need to catch up.

    I think the study just seemed to come off a little bit snobbish... but I probably was just being overpatriotic when I read it... having just celebrated the Fourth of July... and they were probably just trying to say that the seats made by these companies need to be tested and passed in the other countries.

    (and since one of the Swedish seats shown was a Graco, which I would buy in a flash... I've seen it online before and it looks COOL... just like the Truefit, that just really continues to bug me. Why can't they bring us that seat?? Why do they get it, but Graco continues to sell the Comfortsport here?)



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  10. #49
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by Kat_Momof3 View Post
    I didn't really word my post very well. I guess I was just angry that they are looking at what other countries do wrong, but not what they themselves have not addressed... you know?

    I mean, I'd love to see them also harness kids till at least age 6.

    I do think these are equal problems and, in the long run, I think that Sweden is ahead of the game... but we ALL need to catch up.

    I think the study just seemed to come off a little bit snobbish... but I probably was just being overpatriotic when I read it... having just celebrated the Fourth of July... and they were probably just trying to say that the seats made by these companies need to be tested and passed in the other countries.
    My understanding wasn't that this research was put together for Sweden, it was the EU who did a retrospective study regarding their own crash data in the UK, Sweden's, and the US's. So from that standpoint, it's not really tooting one's own horn. They were talking about how to make improvements within their own country, and included US data in the hopes of getting the US involved in some of the discussions - but also because the US database of collisions and injuries is readily accessible and easy to filter out to find only those collisions that met the parameters of their study. Really my feel from the study was that they were giving themselves a kick in the butt to change their own policies to more closely match Sweden's because Sweden's success at limiting child fatalities simply can't be argued with.

    I do disagree with the need to educate Sweden about 5pt harnessing to 6yrs old. I think there are a couple factors - for one Swedish boosters have much better SIP than boosters here and I'm sure that has to make a big difference in how well a child is contained in the seating position. There may be other factors as well - if car safety is a part of culture, 4 and 5yr old kids moving out of position while seated in a booster may not be an issue the same way as it is in North America. It's not that a 40lb 4yr old is unsafe in a booster, it's that most 4yr olds are unlikely to stay in position in a booster seat, thereby increasing their risk of injury. And I think the movement out of position is what creates the safety risk - not the presence or lack of a 5pt harness in a child who is at least 4yrs old and 40lbs.

    The crash data from Sweden simply doesn't show increased risk of having 4yr olds in boosters, so there has to be some sort of explanation for that. Whether it is the design of boosters, slight differences in seatbelt geometry between Swedish cars and American cars, differences in the vehicles safety features between countries, or some other aspect I really don't know. But it does raise the question of what the difference is...

    So from that perspective, I just don't think a blanket statement can be made that EH'ing is something that every country should do. In North America premature booster use does increase fatalities, but based on Swedish data it appears that 40lbs and 4yrs old in their culture isn't premature use. I really think there are just a ton of factors influencing 5pt vs. booster safety. Who knows, maybe roll overs are uncommon there and that is where the biggest difference would be seen? I'm not familiar enough to be able to do anything more than speculate, but there has to be some reason why their injury data doesn't show any risk to having a 4yr old in a booster...
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  11. #50
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Harnessed FF or in a booster for my child, I am so lucy that I believe my son can stay RF until he is 5 or 6 YRS(or when ever he is to tall or reaches 55 lbs) old and then probably move him over in a booster(unless there is some new guidelines and recommendations available)

    I do believe it is important to notice that this is NOT a Swedish research report :-) and don't read the report with your patriotic glasses This feeling you probably get from reading this report many parents in Norway probably is getting also, there is still more FF young children here than RF. And when it is being discussed sadly many parents use the argument that FF seats is being sold and therefore it is safe. Hopefully this report can change their point of view. The actually have a choice(as many other parents throughout Europe/USA doesn't have still the choose FF seats).

    About ANEC(the organiztion who is behind this report) from Wikipedia:
    ANEC, the European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation (known informally as 'the European consumer voice in standardisation'), is an organisation promoting and defending consumer interests in the processes of standardization and certification and in legislation related to standardization and certification.

    ANEC provides technical expertise and advice drawn from a network of more than 200 consumer representatives across Europe. The organisation's experts contribute directly to the work of more than 80 technical committees and working groups of the European Standards Organisations, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.

    [edit] History

    ANEC was set up in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law. Its principal motivation was to ensure organised consumer participation in the development of European Standards intended to support European legislation introduced under the New Approach to Technical Harmonization and Standardization. However, its competence also extends to other European Standards developed by the European Standards Organisations.

    It represents consumer organisations from the European Union Member States and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. The organisation's General Assembly is composed of one national member per country, nominated jointly by the national consumer organisations in that country. ANEC is funded by the European Commission and EFTA, while national consumer organisations contribute in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

    DS 9YR FF in a high back booster seat(ERFing until he was 6YR), DD 4YR ERF in a Axkid Kidzofix.

  12. #51
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    I know bringing up Sweden constantly regarding car seat safety is boring and maybe comes of as snobbish. Other people have complained about this as well. The interesting thing is that Swedes on the street don't care much about telling others how great they are. Using car seats is the norm here, it's default thinking. The use of rf car seats until 4-ish is very common and people don't think it's a big deal. It's as normal as waking up and putting on clothes. It's rarely discussed among parents, it's just something everyone do to keep kids safe.

    Booster seats here are very similar do US models but many use not only a cushion but a complete belt positioning booster. That makes a difference. PErsonally I don't think there is any problem with 4-year old-ish US kids in booster, especially since on average they are heavier (due to obesity rates etc.). I find the problem being 2- and 3-year olds in boosters which clearly is unsafe.

    My approach to learning new things in life have often been following others who did things right. The Swedish "strategy" regarding car seat safety might not be something everyone should follow but I do think people should pay close attention to what's being done since the safety record is so much better than any other country. Not just for a year or two, for the past 40 years.

    What strikes my as incredible is the simplicity of Swedish car seat safety. The law doesn't even mention being rf to a certain age, it says "Kids should be restrained properly......... There are also no seat checks, no car seat technician, nor tech certification, no great forums like this one, and few people even interested in car seats. Despite this seemingly uncomplicated approach, safety for kids is outstanding. When car seat use becomes "boring" and the norm, it's very effective.
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  13. #52
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    PErsonally I don't think there is any problem with 4-year old-ish US kids in booster, especially since on average they are heavier (due to obesity rates etc.).
    How many 4 year olds from the US do you know? There aren't many who I would expect to sit properly positioned in a booster for the whole trip, every trip. Not only are our kids fat , they aren't prone to sitting still.

  14. #53
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills by Alix Spiegel
    Morning Edition, February 21, 2008
    We know that children's capacity for self-regulation has diminished. A recent study replicated a study of self-regulation first done in the late 1940s, in which psychological researchers asked kids ages 3, 5 and 7 to do a number of exercises. One of those exercises included standing perfectly still without moving. The 3-year-olds couldn't stand still at all, the 5-year-olds could do it for about three minutes, and the 7-year-olds could stand pretty much as long as the researchers asked. In 2001, researchers repeated this experiment. But, psychologist Elena Bodrova at the National Institute for Early Education Research says, the results were very different.

    "Today's 5-year-olds were acting at the level of 3-year-olds 60 years ago, and today's 7-year-olds were barely approaching the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago," Bodrova explains. "So the results were very sad."
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  15. #54
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Unless a child has some kind of handicap or physical problem I think sitting still this has something to do with parenting/education/habits. You make it sound like kids will be sitting still for a whole day. I never drive more than 1.5-2 hours without a break for my kids. Maybe you're talking about some other time frame.

    When I say "problem with a 4-year old" I mean fatality rates. The difference between a good sized 4-5 year old in a booster and harnessed are likely to be small unless there are special circumstances.

    The Swedes use almost identical seats, almost identical cars, and kids are of about the same size so there are obviously other factors at play.

    Regarding the link, thanks, I'll read through it tomorrow. Sounds to me like this has more to do with parenting than anything else.
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  16. #55
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Ah, but does parenting reflect society or does society reflect parenting?
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  17. #56
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Oh no, I was afraid of some smart question like that..... I guess this is an individual opinion and perhaps a little philosophical. My personal opinion is that parents are responsible for their children, no one else. Not school, friends, grandparents, society, or media. This has to do with accountability I guess, I believe that I'm (and my wife of course) are responsible for anything our kids do. Good or bad. If my son smacks someone at school, behaves like a maniac at lunch, or is rude to teacher, you can blame me. I take full responsibility for bad stuff but also credit for the good stuff.

    It's probably true that kids are less patient today and have problems sitting still. But regardless of how society has changed, sitting still in a booster would be a very basic thing to teach a normal child. It may take no work, little work, or a lot of effort, it's still a basic and minor (but important) issue. Even if the current trend in society is for kids to move around doesn't mean it has to be like that for all children. There are many things in society I don't agree with so I teach my kids to to act that way.

    I'm just wondering about other challenges parents face since sitting still in a booster is similar to other things. What about sitting and behaving at the dinner table, behaving a school/kindergarten/day care, while traveling by plane/bus/train, eating in a restaurant, or basic social things like being nice to friends? If we can teach our kids these basic things, shouldn't we be able to have them sit still in a booster seat while driving to the supermarket? (I'm not referring to kids with special needs)
    Last edited by Adventuredad; 08-01-2008 at 04:44 AM.
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  18. #57
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    You make it sound like kids will be sitting still for a whole day.
    Did I? I apologize. That was not what I was trying to communicate with my post. I'll try to clarify.

    In a study done in the 1940s, American 5-year-olds were able to stand still for about 3 minutes at a time while 7-year-olds could stand still pretty much indefinitely. Now, six-plus decades later, American 7-year-olds can stand still for only minutes at a time.

    Obviously, this study didn't look at how well American children sit in boosters in a moving vehicle. However, I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude that a child who can't stand still for a full 5 minutes in a row might have difficulty sitting properly in a booster nonstop for half a hour, let alone 1.5-2 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    Sounds to me like this has more to do with parenting than anything else.
    The researchers in the study above actually concluded that the change has to do with commercialism and its influence on how children play than on discipline, but let's assume for a moment that you're right: this is all parents' fault. How should that effect CPST's recommendations for parents of children over 40 lb and under 8-9 years of age?

    First, let's remember that even in the 1940s, five year olds had difficulty with standing still for up to 5 minutes at a time, so this isn't a recent development. Indeed, it's been an issue since before seatbelts became standard equipment in motor vehicles. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that the horrible parenting that results in young children being unable to sit without fidgeting is magically going to disappear overnight.

    We must then play with the cards we are dealt: American children aged 4-9 are likely to have at least some difficulty sitting properly in a booster or seatbelt for "extended periods" (an extended period being 5+ minutes). As CPSTs and CPSAs, it makes sense for us to recommend seats with internal 5-point harnesses even for children over age 3, because we know that the vast majority of the kids we help are going to be victims of "bad parenting" who need to be protected in spite of their inability to sit properly in a booster.

    Additionally, many of us will probably continue to recommend high backed boosters for children making the transition from a 5-point to a booster, because the high back provides a physical reminder to children who start to lean sideways, as well as helping to hold the belt in place as the child shifts. Locking the seatbelt may also provide an added measure of security to a child who gets fidgety from time to time.

    Finally, it is prudent for every parent to take into consideration the individual child's abilities. Oddly, even children raised together in the same household by the same parents often gain the ability to sit still at different rates. It is critical to look at a child's actual behavior, rather than to make recommendations based on what someone else says the child "should" be able to do or even what studies have shown other children can do. It seems that in this issue, as always, the "best" seat is the one that fits the child, fits the vehicle, and will be used properly every single trip.
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  19. #58
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    i think that adventuredad's argument is valid, although it is not a practical solution to the problem that CPSTs face. he was just pointing out the root cause, without really suggesting a practical solution.

    while it is true that the study that ulrikeDG mentioned concluded that it is the influence of the media that is likely the cause of the decrease in the ability kids to remain focused, it still ultimately falls back on the parents... who, collectively, have chosen to allow their kids to be influenced by the media. this is one of the reasons we don't have a TV in our house: *we* (the parents) are trying to control what influence the media has on our kids. we can't control it entirely since it is everywhere we are, but we can still do our part as parents to regulate the dosage of media exposure our kids get, and also to teach our kids down the road how to be media savvy rather than media-controlled. if more parents chose to regulate media exposure more, perhaps our kids would become, in general, more like they were in the 40s and 50s... but i know there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of that ever happening.

    i also think adventuredad's connection to this phenomenon and childrens' manners in general is spot on.
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  20. #59
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    without really suggesting a practical solution.
    I'm really good at this

    I see your points Ulrike and I agree that kids have more distractions today. That's true all over the world. The conclusions of the study sound a little extreme but perhaps it's correct.

    Like I mentioned, many parents disagree with facing accountability. It's tough for many to accept that things could be done far better. I've had two of the most stressful jobs imaginable and maybe it's because of this I'm used to accepting blame and moving on. Blaming others is definitely a strong trend in parenting. It's not parents fault kids are obese, illiterate, violent, or impolite. I simply disagree with this although there are circumstances where it can be difficult to handle. Like being divorced and have one responsible parent and one who doesn't have a clue.

    My opinion is that parents are responsible no matter what. We can control most of what our kids do, see,and experience. We have an almost unlimited amount of choices. If my kids are bad at something important I work with them to solve the problem. And at 4-5 years, kids can do an amazing amount of things.

    My son does really well, he's an "easy" kid and the issue with not sitting still has rarely come up. I'm sure he would like to do some crazy things in the back seat but I don't allow it. For me it's the same as many other things I face as a parent. My kids want to eat ice cream in the morning and not shower for a week but I don't allow it. Maybe it's not a fair comparison.

    I guess I'm just pointing out the problems. It's like saying all parents should have their kids properly restrained........
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  21. #60
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: New European research - kids should RF up till four years

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    i think that adventuredad's argument is valid,
    Since AD's argument is "PErsonally I don't think there is any problem with 4-year old-ish US kids in booster", I disagree. I do NOT think it is valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    while it is true that the study that ulrikeDG mentioned concluded that it is the influence of the media that is likely the cause of the decrease in the ability kids to remain focused, it still ultimately falls back on the parents... who, collectively, have chosen to allow their kids to be influenced by the media.... if more parents chose to regulate media exposure more, perhaps our kids would become, in general, more like they were in the 40s and 50s...
    The problem with that argument is that even in the 40s, five-year-olds could only stand still for an average of three minutes. To me that says there was never a time since the invention of seatbelts when it was reasonable to expect most 4-year-olds to be able to sit properly in boosters for any but the shortest of trips.

    Looking at the history of child restraints and CPS recommendations, we know that often "best practice" is just as dependent on what products are available as it is on what would be safest for the passengers involved. Thus, the recommendation to turn infants front facing when they reach 20 lb was based on the fact that there were no restraints available which could be used rear facing beyond 20 lb. Now that those products exist, best practice recommendations have changed. It doesn't mean that 20 years ago 20 lb infants were better able to withstand the forces of a crash than they are today.

    A mere 10 years ago, there weren't any 5-point harness seats that could be used above 40 lb. This resulted in a 4-years/40 lb recommendation for switching to a booster, even though 4-year-olds have a difficult time sitting properly in a booster. Now that such products are widely available, recommendations are changing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    My opinion is that parents are responsible no matter what. We can control most of what our kids do, see,and experience. We have an almost unlimited amount of choices. If my kids are bad at something important I work with them to solve the problem. And at 4-5 years, kids can do an amazing amount of things.
    I agree with you to a point. There are some things which children fail to learn simply because no one bothers to teach them. There are other things which children "fail" to learn because they aren't developmentally ready to learn them. My 9-month-old isn't walking yet. Is that a failure on my part? Should I have been maintaining a strict training schedule from the day she was born in order to encourage her to walk earlier? Her two older sisters both started walking at 9 months, so it's possible for some kids to walk that early; I've heard of kids taking steps even younger! But is it reasonable to expect that most kids "should" be walking at 9 months? I don't think so.

    I'm all about parental accountability. However, I fail to see any evidence whatsoever that it is reasonable to expect most 4-year-olds to sit still in a booster for trips longer than about 5 minutes without constant adult supervision. Further, even if it were developmentally reasonable to expect such behavior, if our culture is such that such behavior is unlikely, our recommendations must be based on what is, rather than on what "should" be.
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