Vent 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.


New member
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.


New member
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.


New member
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.


New member
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


Well-known member
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!


New member
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.


New member
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.


New member
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!


New member
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.


Active member
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.


New member
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.


New member
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.


Well-known member
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.
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New member
Welcome... you have come to the right place. Here, you are preaching to the choir, but you are also ensuring that your story will go on and be told.

We all practice extended rearfacing and we work hard to get kids rearfacing to at least 2yrs old or at least 30-35lbs (depending on seat).

We are all frustrated about seats.

Only questions I have...

1. was his seat top tethered? Was the install checked by a child passenger safety technician?? these are key elements... to know the seat was installed and used properly and that it was top tethered would add to your story... because in countries where they don't rearface even to 1yr (Australia, for instance) top tethering is REQUIRED for forward facing. And they believe that it makes it okay. So adding when you tell your story that the tether was used would help.

2. Could I use your story and photos to make a video for youtube??

if not, I encourage you to do it.


Active member
I think a youtube video would be good and with pictures. The pictures are very powerful and would get to people more than just us telling them.

Prayers for your family and Joel


Active member
Like others I just wanted to thank you for posting your story. I sent a link to it to all of my friends with kids even though I have sent all of them info on rear-facing in the past. I'm hoping that the ones that either didn't read the info I sent earlier or didn't take it seriously will see it in a new light coming from someone that has had personal experience.

You also helped me to make a decision about whether to replace my 30 lb RF seat with a 35 lb seat since my 16 month old is already getting close to 30 lbs. We've already got one in our 2nd vehicle, but your story made me realize that it isn't even worth debating whether to get a new seat, because it's a no brainer. I absolutely should have the 35 lb seat in both cars.

Thank you. I wish you and your family all the best.


Well-known member
Can anyone please tell me what's the best link to the story to send other people? I wasnt able to see the pictures so I dont want to send people a link that wont work.


Active member
Can anyone please tell me what's the best link to the story to send other people? I wasnt able to see the pictures so I dont want to send people a link that wont work.

I just sent the link to this thread because that way people are brought to this site which is a great place to get an education about car seats. Unfortunately people can't see the pictures that way (if they want to they can register at the other site to see them), but the story is pretty powerful on its own. Actually, if they read the comments in this thread as well, the OP actually put a picture in his second post - #21.

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