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  1. #1
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    PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    PLEASE, for your childrens sake, consider leaving them in REAR-FACING (RF) car seats as longs as you can. Although it is "suggested" by many people and organizations, that you can turn them forward facing at 1 yr / 20 lbs, and seats are made to accommodate that, it doesn't mean they will not be subjected to cervical spine injuries in an accident. Sure, it'll hold their body in place, as it did for my grandson. But their head is thrown violently forward!! Actually, if you do your homework, front facing children "75% more likely to be injured" in a crash ( http://www.carseatsite.com/rf.htm ).

    I am Grandpa, and here's my personal view. My 18 mo old grandson, Joel, was injured in a front impact car crash 4 weeks ago. He is a "beefy" boy, weighing in at 34lbs and about 39" tall. According to his mom, the doctor told her it was "okay" to put him in a front facing car seat, because he was a "big boy". So she did. And he was securely strapped in the rear seat. The car hit a tree, for reasons unknown, at city speed limit of approx 35 mph.

    At the accident scene, the EMT crew took Joel out of the car while in the car seat and all, and transported him to the hospital. They had to "bag" him at the scene to restart his breathing. The true miracle is that the ambulance was driving by, and some people flagged it down. They didn't even get time to call 911. You can bet God had his hand in that!!! they were on the scene in about 60 seconds!!

    Below are some photos of Joel, before and after. YOU decide whats best for your child.......not anyone else!!! He sustained dislocated top 2 vertebrae in his spine (C-1 & C-2). Some of the doctors put it in very simple terms...his skull, internally, became detached from his body... and was basically held on with his skin.

    In the last few weeks, I've scoured the internet to find these facts:
    * a young child's head is approx 25% of his/her bodywieight. If that were true of adults, my head (I'm 220lbs) would weigh 55lbs! as it is, an adults head is only about 6% of their body weight. So, kids are very top-heavy.
    * Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland recommend rear facing until 4 yrs old
    * look on You Tube at the crash test videos of front facing vs. rear facing. you'll be amazed.
    YouTube - Crash Test - http://babyproducts.about.com/od/car...ear_facing.htm

    * if a young childs spine is "stretched" a 1/4 of an inch, it could result in total paralysis or death.
    * and this is amazing! There was an article published in Pediatrics (the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) earlier this year that states: ""A recent analysis of the protection provided in rear-facing compared with forward-facing car safety seats has revealed that children under the age of 2 years are 75% less likely to die or sustain serious injury when they are in a rear-facing seat.2 This finding was true regardless of direction of the crash, even those crashes with side impact, which typically are the most severe."

    "Parents may be helped to understand the importance of using the convertible car safety seat in the rear-facing position longer than 1 year if they are counseled that children are 5 times safer than when riding in a forward-facing seat into the second year of life."

    After hearing about that, I contacted the AAP via email, and asked what their position is on this issue. Their response was "While this was published in the Academy's journal, it does not necessarily constitute AAP policy" and "Because riding rear-facing does provide significantly more protection to children's heads, necks, and spines, the Academy does recommend it for as long as possible, but the only minimum we have set is 12 months/20 pounds. This policy statement is under revision but is current at this time."

    The policy statement is under revision.... at this time??

    Do you're home work folks!!! Oh, and you'll also find out that in the USA, rear facing seats only go up to about 35lbs. In Europe, whose testing standards seem to exceed US standards (http://daddytypes.com/2007/01/05/con...e_car_seat.php ), the RF car seats can be purchased up to 55 lbs. AND, made by the same manufacturers as in the US.

    So, the question is, why can't we get them?? And don;t worry about legroom. check out these larger RF seats: http://forum.nybaktmamma.com/showthread.php?t=524428
    Sure, they can break a leg in a violent crash, but I think bones are easier to fix than a broken neck!!! Heck, it's better to mount a portable CD player in the back window shelf and let them watch it, then to risk their life! Think about it....their body is strapped down to a car seat that is strapped down, and the car comes to an abrupt stop!! where is their head going to go? FORWARD, and at a tremedous velocity!! The back of their neck/ spinal cord is vunerable to injury.

    But the BIG question is....... for you to decide. I know you want to see their darling faces. But you don't want to see them in a halo.

    I know this is a very long blog, but if it saves one child...or one family, the agony of what we've endured these last 4 weeks, it is worth the read!! The pic's below are about six weeks apart. he was eating cake by himself....very cute.

    And now, he is is headed for intense physical therapy. he does move his fingers and his legs, but he doesn't pick up his arms. The therapy people are very optimistic, given the movement in his extremities. Doctors believe it was some compression of the shoulder nerves from the car seat straps acroos his collar bone area. You had to see those big, wide bruise marks. Again...front facing will do it.!!

    Here are photos of Joel, before and after......


    I welcome all comments, as I would like to see: the FF threshold raised to 24 months, and largers RF seats available in the US. Thank you
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by luv2bfishin; 11-14-2008 at 07:38 PM. Reason: add photos

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  3. #2
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    Exclamation Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    It's me, LUV2BFISHIN!!

    I posted this thread a few days ago............and I want to thank everyone for their support, and prayers, regarding Joel.

    He's doing great!! It's been a month since the accidnt. He'll be in the halo for about 3 more months, and currently he's in a very special physical therapy, dealing primarily with brain & spinal injuries.

    He's alert, and exercising his legs and arms everyday, several times per day.

    So, to all of you who want to use Joel's story, here's the deal. If you want to print it out & hand it to parents as a proactive advocate of RF seats, go ahead!! I know the pic's are powerful. And I have some even more devastating than those. Keep in mind, he fractured his right eye (orbital shelf) , and so for the week after the accident...his right eye looked like a boxer's after 10 rounds of boxing!

    BUT, I'd like something in return. I ask your help in getting the "authorities" to revisit the 12 mo/ 20lb threshold, where they state children "should ride rear facing until they are at least 1 yr of age and 20 lbs." That's from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) who has influence with the NHTSA in setting these standards. These laws are state specific, so each state has it's own mandates. Email your government officials!!

    I've even emailed the major car seat manufacturers and asked them "how does their front facing seat help to prevent cervical spine injuries"? HA HA! talk about a joke!! only one response, and they said their seat meets NHTSA standards. okay, what are those standards?? I challenge ANYONE to show me results of controlled testing, with a front facing 12 mo / 20 lb child involved in a front impact 35 mph crash and NOT sustaining cervical spine and/or brachial plexus injuries!! ANYONE ACCEPT THAT CHALLENGE?? Maybe AAP, or NHTSA??

    Okay parents, you've taken a few minutes to research these car sites. NOW, take a few minutes and send an email to these organizations and express your outrage with the assumption that 12 mo / 20lbs is an acceptable threshold to FF a child. Email AAP @ catch@aap.org, and se what response you get!
    And fire off an email to NHTSA @ this site : https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/email.cfm

    How many "Joels" are in hospitals around the country...right now?? How many kids aren't here to tell their story??

    Help Joel !! And help yourself!! help your neighbor!! and help a kid from a 1000 miles away you'll never even meet!! I've got a BIG mouth!!! I just fired an email to Oprah!! I've never done a "blog" like this before, so watch out!! A newbie is in town.

    C'mon.........take 5 minutes, and DO IT!!! and you can copy me in on the email @ luv2bfishin@hotmail.com
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member mamabear's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Again, I really commend you for being so passionate about changing these laws.

    It is something a lot of us here feel very strongly about.

    I, too, at times wish I could do "something" to change awareness. But I admit I haven't been very diligent. I preach it to anyone who will listen to me, but I haven't gone very far outside that. You are bringing it to a whole new level for me.

    You actually lived my worst nightmare for me, or anyone I know's children to have to go through.

    You have inspired me.

  5. #4
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I would love to see you develop a website to discuss your experiences and your proposals for changing the rearfacing recommendations in this country. Having a website to link to is probably a better way to spread the message then copying and pasting posts that you have made on the board.

    If you could make a you-tube video, that would also be a powerful way to convince people.

    Maybe talk to the Kyle David Miller foundation about how they approached the media and lawmakers and medical boards. They did a great job promoting their desire to keep kids harnessed for as long as possible and they spread the news via their you-tube video, news media, and their foundation they created. They probably would have some valuable advice on how to approach getting your message out to the public.
    Katy

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy Andie's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    My 6 year old just walked by and saw the picture of your grandson. He says "I really don't like kids getting hurt in car accidents, and everyone needs to keep their little kids rear facing as long as they can. I hope your grandson gets better and I will pray for him". He has a very tender heart. He's heard me talking to well, just about everyone I can, about ERF (& extended harnessing) and understands why even more now.

    I will be composing a letter to the governor.
    Mom to:
    Al -12- | CJ -6- |Kaylee -12/28/12-

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic Mama!'s Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    My own son Rf'd to 3 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday. He was 34 lbs with clothes on and I turned him FF.

    Internal decapitation is my worst fear. I'd use a Swedish seat in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing.
    DD-11, adult belt/ nbb
    DS-9, Vivo
    DD-2.5 ~24#, 33", RF in RA 55

  8. #7
    CPS Technician fyrfightermomma's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Quote Originally Posted by luv2bfishin View Post
    It's me, LUV2BFISHIN!!


    How many "Joels" are in hospitals around the country...right now?? How many kids aren't here to tell their story??

    I am a tech today because of a car accident I responded to (I am a firefighter) and have seen first hand a child who could not tell their story.

    He was a beautiful 20 month old baby boy with bright blond hair. I still cry (and am right now) as I think about it.

    He never had a chance to live.

    I did my best to save that little boy. I did the best CPR of my life. I prayed to God to save him.....and it didn't work. I told that mother her child was dead. It's something that haunts me every day. That is why I am a tech and advocate now, 5 years later.

    I am SO thankful your little grandson is still here for you to love and hold, even though he isn't the same as he used to be. Hug him tight. I pray he will pull through and be the little boy he once was.

    Since the night that I couldn't save that little baby boy, I've made it my mission to spread the word. Your story has reinspired me to keep at it.

    We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers

    E 8y 43 lbs 58" Harmony NBB
    S 7y 52 lbs 54" Harmony NBB
    J-4y 38 lbs Graco Headwise 70 Britax Roundabout 50

  9. #8
    CPS Technician Mommy0608's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I'm chiming in a few days late here, but wow... what a tragic story! I'm so sorry, my thoughts are with Joel and your whole family. Thank you SO much for sharing your heart-wrenching ordeal with us.

    I'm fortunate that my 2 year old is rather small... at 27 months she weighs 25lbs and is, of course, still rear-facing. She will rear-face until the maximum limits of her seat.
    Jenny
    CPST and mommy to
    Jessica 6.18.06 and Tyler 8.5.08
    Both riding in Frontier 85s

  10. #9
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I'm so sorry about what your family is going through and my prayers are with you. We all feel very passionate about rear facing here and are also very frustrated that people are still getting bad information about turning their kids ff too early. I think emailing Oprah was a great idea, a big media thing is what is really needed.
    Btw, I just wanted to add one thing. There are two things that need to be done. First, spread the word about the benefits of rf for as long as possible. And second, get those car seats that RF to 55lbs to the US market. Younger and heavy kids are the ones at most risk when FFing because their heads are heavier but their spine is just as undeveloped as the one of a skinny kid of the same age. I doubt the government will ever allow the use of foreign seats that are not certified to US standards because that rule is basically there to protect the average consumer from buying some random seat made by who knows who without any testing. So we need to get the manufacturers to bring those seats here. Britax has said it is not worthwhile for them from a business standpoint because their research indicates most people who buy Britax seats dont even use them RFing to the existing limits (35lbs), which is totally true. So we need to change that first! Sales of the Britax Regent went through the roof after the Kyle Miller foundation launched their youtube video about keeping older kids in a harness. We need something just as dramatic about extended rearfacing. You have a story to tell so I agree with the the poster who suggested a youtube video and contacting the KDM foundation for advice.
    And please please please keep us posted on both Joel's progress and your steps in spreading the message. Good luck!
    DD 5.5yo, 38lbs, 43" - FF in a Radian XT and Frontier85 SICT
    DS 3yo, 33lbs, 38" - RF in Radian XT and Britax MT

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Thanks for your research and very sorry to hear about your grandson. I think you will struggle finding people any more passionate about rear facing than on this board. The gurus that give advice here are top notch.

    Currently living in Sweden I have certainly seen with my own eyes the great benefits of rear facing far into the toddler years. Injuries and deaths in traffic accidents for young kids here are thankfully very rare. Our rear facing seats can handle weights up to 55 lbs which means most of our kids sit rear facing until age 4 or 5. This is standard practice and few even think about it.

    I turned my son around at 4 year of age since he was getting too tall for his rf seat but felt it was still a little too early..... As you might have noticed, it's often an uphill battle trying to convince people about rear facing benefits. You would't believe the things I've heard as I have lugged my two rear facing seats around the world.
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy Andie's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I just wanted to say I posted this on my myspace blog last night after I saw the permission to. I just got this comment on it:
    "Thank you for sharing! I'm going to turn Haley back around!"

    I've never talked to this friend about seat safety. The subject never came up, and I didn't know how to address it. Her daughter is 2.
    Mom to:
    Al -12- | CJ -6- |Kaylee -12/28/12-

  13. #12
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Warning: I'm going to tick some of you off, and as usual, I don't really care. Just an FYI.

    The harsh reality of why the car seat laws are of such a minimal nature, and downright awful in some places, is that the people who live in that particular State have called and whined to their State representatives that they don't want the government telling them how to raise their children.

    So how do we change those laws? We need to have stories like yours, and people who have experienced the awful heartbreak of a child being injured, or worse killed, in car crashes due to the minimal nature of our State laws. These types of stories do a wonderful job of getting lawmakers to focus on fixing the laws rather than listening to those whiny constituents.

    Who will you be up against? Anyone who rails against the "Nanny State". They believe it's the parents responsibility, blah, blah, blah... Well, quite frankly, precious few parents exercise a whole lot of informed responsibility when it comes to child passenger safety. They're much more worried about what other people will say, and their own convenience. Do we need tougher State laws? You betcha! Because the vast majority of the population won't do it on their own. They need a law to make them act responsibly.

    As for Federal oversight... We've had precious little Federal oversight of ANYTHING as of late. From our food supply, to the safety of our children's toys, to Wall Street, the FAA, and even our pet's food. Hopefully we may see a renewed focus on Federal oversight by our regulatory agencies, and a depoliticization of those agencies. They're there to protect the people of the United States, and not to further someone's political agenda. They need to get back to the job at hand. Do I think a number of Federal regulatory agencies have become too close to the industries they regulate? Yes. Two such agencies have been busted for this so far this year. Do I think there are more? Yes. Time, intense scrutiny, and general house cleaning will tell, and is long overdue.

    Good luck in your fight. The more national media attention that you can garner, the better. The more celebrities and politicians on the national stage you can get on your side and being very vocal about this important issue the better. You need a lot of big guns on your side who are not afraid to use the bully pulpit. You have to not be afraid of whose toes you step on, nor whom you offend, because you are going to to both. There is absolutely no way on earth that you can achieve your goals of strengthening the State laws in all 50 States, as well as convincing NHTSA and the car seat manufacturers to start allowing Swedish style RF car seats to be sold in the USA, without stomping on a lot of them.

    You have a tough row to hoe, and I'm behind you 110%. Go get em!
    Ian James - 3.5 Years
    FF Learning Curve Truefit and FF Britax RA

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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Bravo, Wineaux, bravo!

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member jessclear's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I posted this story on my blog last night and already got a response from my MIL, who asks every time we see her when I will turn DD forward facing. She e-mailed me saying "I'm sold - let's keep Hannah rear-facing." Not that she would ever make me turn her early, but it sure does help to have one less person asking me and one more person who knows the facts and will spread the word to her friends with grandchildren.

    I hope my friends read the blog and are as moved as I was.

    Prayers for Joel and the whole family. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
    Hannah Rose - 6yo - 47 pounds - 45' - Livia FR 85
    Turbo Booster, Jane Indy Plus with dad; Evenflo Symphany and Turbo with Gma;
    Peg Perego Primo Viaggio for 3.5yo Niece and borrowed children

    Eva Genelle forever in our hearts


  16. #15
    Senior Community Member Ahzryn's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Wineaux View Post
    Warning: I'm going to tick some of you off, and as usual, I don't really care. Just an FYI.
    No ticking off here, you are 100% right. After all, I am a tech in Ohio, we don't even have a stinking booster law!

    Sadly the response I have gotten every single time I have brought the tougher laws up has been the cost is too prohibitive. Too much to test, too much to develop, too much to implement, too much financial burden for parents to bear, too much to enforce. And, in the end, the payoff is too minimal. Severe frontal collisions are very rare, and those involving children even rarer. So, investing all that money just to save 1 life isn't worth it.

    I've love to see if those same people have the balls to say that to Joel's grandfather's face.

    Logically I guess I can see a little bit of what they are saying, but if that's the case, why are car accidents the #1 cause of accidental death for kids over 1? Even raising the law to 2 and 30 would be a vast improvement, and require very little expenditure. For the rest, being the seats to the market and at least have them available. Let parents make the choice if the extra expense is worth it.
    Tam
    Mom to two long-torsoed girls and one boy!



  17. #16
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Even if they just raised the weight and not the age...your child must be 1 year and 30 pounds to turn forward facing....

    That would get most kids to age 2. Once we get higher rearfacing seats, they can bump it up to 3 and 30 or something like that.

  18. #17
    CPS Technician capeKO71's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    For me, it's not just about a law.

    It has more to do with finding a way to get the education out there. It's so hard to get to the main stream...

    I think places that sell carseats need to be more pro-active about education - and about rear facing

    I think doctors that want to give advice, need to be giving the correct advice.

    I feel that wic programs that hand out carseats need to be explaining to people that their kiddos can rear face right into age 2 easily...

    The information IS NOT Out there in the main stream.

    We have this info... it needs to get out there. This is what I'm struggling with right now at the center I'm at... and it's not just about rear facing... it's carseats in general - boosters, ect.
    Kate - Mom to 2 boys! - CPST

    It's off! Yipee!

  19. #18
    CPS Technician ctbcleveland's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    Thanks very much for taking the time to post.

    I live in the midwest where extended RF is very rare - I have friends who are techs that have turned their kids at one! You made a choice to share your story with us and I can guarantee that it will make someone out there wake up, and hopefully many people.

    I currently own two 33 lb seats...and was never planning to buy another seat to get me through those extra two pounds. Your story has made me rethink this. Thank you.

    I wish Joel a speedy recovery.
    Last edited by ctbcleveland; 10-03-2008 at 12:34 PM. Reason: spelling...duh....

  20. #19
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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I'll be praying for your grandson's recovery! Bless U for being so passionate that this not happen to anybody else! And thank U for permission to share your story, to help others prevent this tragedy.
    DS1:68# & 58", FF in Amp (passes 5 step in most cars) DD1:55# & 51", FF in Pkwy SGL
    DD2:50# & 48", FF in Radian DS2:38# & 40", FF in MA
    Rollin' safely in our Odyssey

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    Re: PLEASE, stay rear-facing past 12mos/20lbs

    I hear you Grandpa, and I support you 150%! I'd just like to remind you and your readers about objects becoming projectiles in a crash. You and your child may be strapped in nice and snug, but things flying around the vehicle could injure or kill you as well. I say this in response to your comment about mounting a CD (DVD) player on the rear window shelf. This also goes for portable mirrors or baby toys mounted to a seat, as well as groceries, purses, books, water bottles, cell phones, etc. Isaac Newtons theory of motion says that weight x speed = force. This holds true for occupants and the force it takes to restrain them as well as for objects that dislodge in a crash. Therefore, even a 1 lb can of peas travelling at 35 mph will hit you with the force of 35 lbs. I just thought I'd add another piece of safety information to keep all of us safe on the roads. I apologize if this was mentioned later on in the replies. I ditto the prayers for Joel and your entire family, and for the project that can help save others from this nightmare. God bless you!

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