Question I feel dumb. RF info? stats for older kids?

bobandjess99

Senior Community Member
So ya i should know this stuff. But i explained to my dh what i know about RF and safety, and apparently i suck at this, because he doesn't feel like he can make an informed decision with the amount of info i am able to provide him.

Here's the deal, in a nutshell. My kid has a small seat, an older 40 lb AOE. My thought process at the time i bought it was that it was really cheap on clearance, and would do for a Rfing convertible until we bought something bigger, which i assumed would be when my kids was like 1.5-2.5. Well, Kid turned out to be tiny. He is now weeks away from turning 4 yo, and is just now at the height limit (has 1 inch of shell over head). Still under weight limit, weighs about 31 lbs clothed. So..........if he had outgrown the seat at 1 or 2 like a NORMAL child, we would have bought him a larger RFing seat, no questions asked...but..he turns 4 in 8 weeks. Herein lies the quandary.

To be honest, *I* am cool with FFing him. He's almost 4, he REALLY wants to FF, and im not looking forward to dealing with snowy muddy crap all over my vehicle seats through another arctic winter. Buying a new seat would also use up money we need for Xmas. DH is not convinced. He seems to feel that any "cons" to continuing to RF ds are not as important as ds's safety (that makes ME sound crappy, right? :eek:)

Anyway, he asked for stats, info, etc. I explained about the study from 12-24 months. And that i dont think we have any stats for 4+? Do we? I tried to explain about diminishing returns and stuff. Talked about sweden and australia. I'm not sure what other info to give him? Have i missed stuff?

I feel dumb. It's almost like i am trying to talk him OUT of RFing, which sounds awful. But I'm not, I'm just trying to give him the info to let him decide. IS there any info out there that says RFing PAST age 4 is important/necesary/helpful? I mean, i know it is always safer, but...how much safer at this point?
 
ADS

Brigala

Well-known member
I don't know of any solid stats past the age of 4. Even NHTSA recommends forward-facing children over the age of 4, without a minimum size stated.

Theoretically, everyone would be safer rear-facing, but I'm not aware of any hard data that would quantify how much safer, nor whether a forward-facing 16 or 32 or 48 year old is safer than a forward-facing 4 year old.

I would want to take into consideration the possibility that your child may be a late bloomer in other ways besides just stature; can your pediatrician check for skeletal maturity before you make the decision?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
There are some stats in the latest study on kids up to 8 coming in RF, but not crash stats. There are some in the data analyzed for Europe for the big RF to 4 or beyond recommendation.

Basically, everyone is always safer RF; astronauts ride rf, yada yada.

However, what we DO have is evidence that children over 4 in FF harnesses are quite safe in crashes, and that children over about 5-6 are even quite safe in boosters.

Are they safer RF if they fit? Yeah, probably. Is it a reasonable choice to FF at 4? Yeah, I think so.
 

safeinthecar

Moderator - CPS Technician
Well first off, he may stay AT 1 inch of shell for months and months. My son was dead even with the top slots of a MA for a year and a half. All his growth was in his legs (there was a point when he was in size 10 pants and size 6 shirts) so you may be able to get through Christmas without having to buy a seat.

Second. The rule in my house is if a disagreement is a safety issue and there is not enough evidence to support either side, the more conservative parent automatically wins.

Third. Yeah, I don't have a third point. It just seemed like numbering my points was silly if I didn't have the word "third" typed here somewhere.
 

hsjwmom

New member
I'm glad you posted this. My dd weighs about the same as your ds and turns 4 in February. Both of her seats are 35lb rfing. I've been fighting myself about whether I should be content that she made it as long as she did rfing or if I should spring for a higher rfing weight seat. That reminds me...I need to weigh dd, lol.

(I'm also not sure how comfy I am using her old style MA ffing when the time comes)
 

Pixels

New member
To be honest, *I* am cool with FFing him. He's almost 4, he REALLY wants to FF, and im not looking forward to dealing with snowy muddy crap all over my vehicle seats through another arctic winter. Buying a new seat would also use up money we need for Xmas. DH is not convinced. He seems to feel that any "cons" to continuing to RF ds are not as important as ds's safety (that makes ME sound crappy, right? :eek:)

DH and I have had this exact same conversation recently, as it is likely that DD will have to go FFing at 4y1mo in order to accommodate three across. Except, in our case, she fits fine in the seats we have; it's just that the seats don't all fit in the vehicles, so he wants to buy a new vehicle to keep her RFing.

Frankly, I'm of the mind that while buying a new vehicle may increase her safety, it's not necessarily because she would still be RFing, it's because it would be a newer vehicle with more mass and better safety features. However, I don't think it's necessarily warranted.

But back to RF/FF. We talked about skeletal development, and how the spinal column fuses a little bit every day, and that process completes between 4 and 6 years of age. His response was well then we need to keep her RF to 7 to make sure that process is complete. But anyway, it is a gradual process that is happening every day. It's not like one day your kid has the skeleton of a fragile baby and the next day BAM they have a fused vertebral column; every day the bones fuse a little bit more and every day the benefits of continuing to RF diminish ever so slightly.
 

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