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



New member
Hi all....Grandpa here!

As you know, I originally posted this blog of my grandson's car crash. First of all, I want to THANK all the people who responded and sent in their prayers for Joel ( we pronounce it Jo-el) because it sure did help. He is making excellent progress in the Physical Therapy Hospital where he is currently staying.

He gets his walking exercises several times a day. And he's a boy that was walking at 10 months! keep in mind, he was 18 mos & 33 lbs at the time of the accident. Well above the "minimum" age to turn a baby front facing, and while he was front facing, he still broke his neck! Imagine, a smaller baby may not have made it!

The neck is healing well, the C-1 and C-2 vertebrae are fusing together nicely as per the doctor. But his arms are very weak. This is due to the nerve "trauma" in his brachial plexus region, the area across the shoulders and collarbone. This was from the straps of the harness. The excessive compression of those nerves. But his hands work well, so it looks very promising.

I am working on a video, in conjuction with several car seat saftey specialists/organizations throughout the country. Even a organization in UK. I was contacted by them via ths blog, including the Kyle David Miller Foundation.

The more I found out about FF vs. RF, it just seems to be a no-brainer! RF is just so much more safer! I know that Joel's story has touched several lives, and from the emails I recieved, has potentially saved some families this terrible heartache...and is keeping some kids safe!! That makes it worth it to me, and gives me the inspiration to contribite to the RF movement!!

attached a photo of Joel playing keyboard with his therapist.

Thanks to everyone for your support, and will let you know when video is ready, which looks to be very soon.


New member
What a beautiful smile! He looks so much better. I hope he continues to heal and make excellent progress. :love:


New member
I just wanted to add that it's definitely safer to turn FF than to use the seat over the RF limit. The seat could fail and it will be very very dangerous. I know babies that reach 35lbs at 13mo or so and that's really sad we cant get those foreign seats, but most kids can make it way longer. Weight gain usually slows down a LOT after the first year so you dont have to be so worried yet. We're happy you learned about the benefits and will keep your child RF as long as possible. If you want start another thread with more info on your car, baby's height, your budget etc and we'll help you choose a convertible. Welcome!

Absolutely correct! NEVER use a seat past its´ limits.

Regarding the Swedish seats: Their construction is different from the US seats. 90% of them have thick steel leg, that goes from the restraint back to the floor in the car. Also they are tethered towards the front of the car using two tether straps instead of one V-shaped. These features help them accomondate and protect a large child weighing 40-55 lbs.



New member
I've been having problems with windows movie maker and haven't been able to finish mine.

But I'll scrap it since he's got organizations helping him make one himself.


New member
Thank you for upadte!

I am up to 8 families going back to RF, or who are going to continue RF past the minimum, because of this story.

In my 2 years of car seat safety advocacy, I have never had this much success at educating parents. I am just sorry that it took such a horrible accident to get the point across to some.


New member
Thank you

Best wishes for Joels recovery to continue to go smoothly and swiftly. He is in many, many peoples thoughts and prayers daily. STAY STRONG!

I think I speak for countless people when I say we can't wait to see the video. Your work will save a childs life.


New member
Yeah - I made a quick 1 sheeter - with a "What... you want me to rear face my baby to 2? Why?" sheet... (yeah I know... longer then 2 would be ideal... but BELIEVE me... I would be jumping for JOY if I could get some of these families to rear face their baby past 1 at all!)

Any chance of sharing this sheet?? I just found this post - I'm a new member here - and would like to share the "quick & dirty" with a few other forums. I've already linked one of them into this.

Also, I'm from Canada - where we have even more pathetic car seat ratings than in the US. I'm all over the Britax Frontier for it's 5-point harness (from a YouTube video on the importance of them!), however, it is only rated to 65 lbs in Canada - 80 in the US. I would have been able to sit in a 5-point harness practically until my 12th birthday with an 80 lb rating.

I am going to compose a letter and see if I can get a petition going here. At the very least we need to have US-weight rated seats in Canada! I'd obviously prefer to have something european.... anyone know what the fine is for having a seat that doesn't meet Canadian Standards??

Thank you for your bravery in posting this, and I hope that Joel continues to make progress. I recently heard of a baby who was born with a brachial plexus injury (she needed to have her collarbone broken to be born) and her arm was paralyzed for almost a full year. She made a 100% complete recovery, though, and you couldn't tell that she had ever had a problem. I'm sure that Joel will do the same. Please pass on many many hugs to Joel and his parents - but spare some for yourself, Grandpa Fishin.
ETA: I just found this article: If you haven't already, you should contact this researcher!!

Last edited:


New member
Just wanted to post some of the videos I found on YouTube which are similar-themed: (this one is short - shows simply a crash-test with a FF seat - you can just see the RF one on the other side of the car, but not when the FF child is moving. I think also that this FF is missing the tether to the back of the car which is required in Canada.) (rear-facing crash test) (the audio is in a language I don't understand but the point is very clear) (various crash test videos)

Ok, I'm done. I'm sure there's plenty more.


New member
I don't know if this is an appropriate question to ask or not.. but I have shared your story with alot of people and a few have asked me questions. Like if he was in a 3 or 5 point harness, what kind of carseat, if it was in the middle or outboard, or if it was tethered. I don't think any of these factors would have even made a difference, no matter what kids should stay RF as long as possible. But I just thought I should be informed when asked these questions. :)

I hope Joel is recovering well!


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!


New member
I am really glad I found this son is 7 months old and already passing 18 pounds, 27" long...and he is soon to outgrow his infant seat and I was searching for a 3-in-1 seat, but was sent to this site...if anyone has any first I was like"what is he supposed to do, cross his legs against the seat?" and it seems that is what you have to do!! I was afraid if we got rear ended badly or something his legs would get broken....not really up to date on the whole car seat safety, but am terribly concerned about it... I am sorry to hear about your grandson and hope he makes a speedy recovery!!!


New member
I know this hasn't been replied to in quite a while. I just wanted to bump it for more awareness I guess.
The more I learn, the more I feel I need to pass along information. I have posted statistics, links, and my own opinions on my facebook page, and am working on something for my blog. After reading Joel's story and his grandpa's plea for us to do something more, I did. I just composed an e-mail to not only the AAP and NHTSA, but also to my local senators and representatives. Thank you, Grandpa, for sharing your story and encouraging so many people to be more proactive. I hope Joel is recovering well!


New member
Grandpa here, and still fighting the fight!

Thanks for the support! You have done what I wish so many others reading these blogs should do........write your state officials. Question them on the current car seat guidelines of age/weight. The last few years have produced new studies supporting extended rear facing, and in some studies, actually suggest the laws be revised to 24 mos until FF.

I have posted many of these links and others on Joel's website

Currently, I am awaiting a response from the Chief Counsels Office of NHTSA, of a letter I sent with 16 very specific questions regarding their supporting evidence of turning babies forward facing at 12 mo/ 20 lbs. Simply, how did they arrive at that threshold.

Stay'll be interesting.


New member
Thanks again Grandpa for the work you are doing highlighting this issue. So many of us are keen to provide information to people who we think want to listen, but we rely on them to take the first step.

As a result, most people take the 12mos/20lbs as 'the right thing to do' because its officially promulgated and you have to go looking for any further (maybe conflicting in some people's eyes) information - which most people wouldn't do, because they already think they're doing the right thing!

I'm in New Zealand, and we allow seats from US, Australia and Europe - accordingly, our standards are reliant on overseas standards. My hope is that the work you do contributes to change in the US, which highlights awareness enough to change perceptions in Australia, (where their standard only allows RF until 26 lbs!!!!), which then filters into the NZ market.

Thank you again. This really matters. (And of course, my best wishes to Joel)
Currently, I am awaiting a response from the Chief Counsels Office of NHTSA, of a letter I sent with 16 very specific questions regarding their supporting evidence of turning babies forward facing at 12 mo/ 20 lbs. Simply, how did they arrive at that threshold.

Stay'll be interesting.

I was wondering if there is any update on this or would it be best to check on the site?


Admin - CPS Technician
1 and 20 was based on extensive research done quite a few years ago at UMTRI...,,9r5v,00.html
"In the research and accident review(2) that I did a few years ago, the data seemed to break at about 12 months between severe consequences and more moderate consequences for the admittedly rare events of injury to young children facing forward that we were able to identify. One year old is also a nice benchmark, and the shift to that benchmark in the last few years has kept many kids in a safer environment longer and has probably saved some lives, some kids from paralysis and some parents from terrible grief"
20lbs was the size of the 9 month old crash test dummy, which was the only dummy they used to use test RF seats (it used to be the highest RF weight limit as late as about 1997, even!). Then they started using the 22lb 12 mo dummy and 35 lb 3 yo dummy so that now seats can stay rearfacing much longer. But the recommendations are still based on information 10+ years old, and we are waiting for the AAP to come out and give a higher minimum FF number, hopefully as soon as 2010 they will do so.

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