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


New member
Hi, Grandpa here!

Thanks for asking about the letter to NHTSA. I did get a response, although it was quite broad, and didn't answer any of my specific questions. Not surprising..

They did say that earlier this year they conducted an "internal" review of the car seat policies, and concluded that they were in line. So, I wrote another letter ( Sept 2009) and asked if the review considered the results of new studies that support ERF up to 2 yrs old, and also support the fact that FF children are 5 times more likely to sustain serious injury. I referred to some specific studies (also posted on Joel's website) such as: . we'll see......

I also have sent a petition @ weeks ago) to the Federal Trade Commision, asking them to initiate action to require warning labels affixed to FF car seats, warning of the increased chances of serious injury versus those in RF car seats. I've included Congresswoman Slaughter in all correspondence.

Eventually, this info will make it to the website. Right now, I'm just awaiting anwers.

By the way, Joel is scheduled for surgery tommorrow in Phil. Childrens Hospital to repair nerve damage in his right shoulder. Keep your fingers crossed...... will provide updates on his website.



New member
Thanks for keeping us updated and prayers go out to all of you! I hope the surgery is successful and keeping Joel in my thoughts!:)
Thank you so much for letting me know they at least responded.

I also wanted to let you know that just after my DD first birthday I was looking for car seats. From your Grandson's story and with the help of this website, she is RR at almost 2.5 years old. She currently weighs close to 23 pounds, and according to the WHO growth charts she might be able to use this seat RR to the age of 4, depending on her height!

I still fight every now and then with DH wanting to switch her forward, we had the talk just last night actually. I bring up what happened to your Grandson and tell him his parents didn't know therefore this story is sad. However, we KNOW, if that happened to DD that would make us stupid, are you willing to take that chance, because I am not!

I wanted to tell you that because your family's story is hitting home to parents. Without advocacy people would not know. I also send out yearly emails to all my contacts around winter time (coming soon :() about jackets and carseats, and information and links to your Grandson's experience.

I was wondering though, do you have a FB page for this information. I know there is a widget of some sort that people can send around that counts how many viewers saw the video (I think it's Causes??). I was wondering if your video is up there too so I can pass along.

ETA: I will have your family in my thoughts, just like I have since I read about this tragic accident. I am sure your Grandson will recover quickly, he sounds like a great fighter.
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New member
1 and 20 was based on extensive research done quite a few years ago at UMTRI...

That is true, but that information is 10+ years old. Several studies have surfaced in the last 3 years, concluding that children are safer RF past the 12 mo / 20 lb guideline. Many are posted at

For example, a recent study in Injury Prevention 2007, produced by prominent safety expert, Dr. M.J Bull stated: " Children in FFCSs were significantly more likely to be seriously injured than children restrained in RFCSs in all crash types (OR = 1.76, 95% CI 1.40 to 2.20). When considering frontal crashes alone, children in FFCSs were more likely to be seriously injured (OR = 1.23), although this finding was not statistically significant (95% CI 0.95 to 1.59). In side crashes, however, children in FFCSs were much more likely to be injured (OR = 5.53, 95% CI 3.74 to 8.18). When 1 year olds were analyzed separately, these children were also more likely to be seriously injured when restrained in FFCSs (OR = 5.32, 95% CI 3.43 to 8.24). Effectiveness estimates for RFCSs (93%) were found to be 15% higher than those for FFCSs (78%). "

Kathleen Weber, is a highly respected authority on car seat safety, and has provided excellent research. Her study back in 1990's helped set a guideline, but it is time that that guidline be revisited. I feel there is mounting evidence, more recent studies within the last 3 years, that conclude FF children are more susceptible to serious injury than RF. At the very least, parents should be made aware of the increased risks, beyond saying " we recommend rear facing as long as possible". To date, I have not read any study that disputes the fact that children have a higher chance of serious injury FF vs RF.

Simply because it is a "statistically rare event", as stated by K. Weber at that time, how many kid's need to break their necks in order for it to be counted as a real potential occurance? 300....3000...30,000? I asked NHTSA if they could provide a statistic for cervical injuries in FF children, and they didn't. So.....who's counting?

My grandson was 18 mos / 35lbs, which is 50% over the threshold, and broke his neck FF. Was it a fluke? or is the bar just set too low. The guideline should error on the higher side, the side of caution. Not the bare minimum.

The only way people are being educated on the risks of FF vs ERF is through forums, such as this one, or tragic YouTube videos created by parents after a tragedy. I feel the government needs to step up and do an outreach campaign of education, and warn consumers of the increased risks of FF, and what actually can happen. Very similar to smoking warnings years ago by the government that said "smoking may be hazardous to your health". Big deal, right? Then, with more research, it was upgraded to "smoking causes cancer". They both mean the same thing, but the latter spells out the consequences. Now that's a warning.

WARNING: Front facing children are 5 times more likely to sustain serious injury than rear facing children.

Gee, that would open some dialogue between consumers and pediatricians, wouldn't it?



New member
I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. I got all kinds of funny looks when my daughter was 2 and still RF. I also heard parents who turned kids are 12mo/18lbs because they cried RF. I along with quite a few on this board, wish more people would be educated on the risks of FF. Here in AZ there was a bill to prevent children from riding in the back of pickup trucks which failed because "what would all these familes do to transport their kids". I can't believe how many people make such stupid arguments.:mad:

Sorry for the VENT, but I think our children are a precious gift and we all need to do whatever it takes to protect them.

I've sent your story out to everyone I know with kids - hopefully it will help someone avoid the same painful journey Joel is on.


New member
This broke my heart to read Joel's story. I'm new to the site and I came here looking for info on "extended" rear facing info. My mom is so excited to have my son turned forward facing. I emailed her the youtube video link so she'll understand why I want to keep my precious 12month old rear facing for as long as possible. I'll admit, I was excited to turn him forward too. I got anchors installed in my car (99 corolla) for the top tether strap and now I'm sorry I wasted my time and money to do that. At least when I sell my car they will already be there if they're needed. :)


New member
luv2bfishin just wanted to say that reading about your grandson Joel gave me even more reason to keep my children rearfacing, I didnt actually realise that Joel was 33lbs so well over the 20lbs recommendation.

my daughter is 3 next month and 34lbs and rearfacing in a radian xtsl I have no plans on turning her forward anytime soon her brother is 11 months and around 20 months and rearfacing in a cosco scenera I plan to get a radian for him when he out grows that around 2-2.5 years


New member
I don't know if Joel's granfather ever checks here but it was his specific story that kept me RF Finn at 17 mos. Thank God because when we were in our accident 3 weeks ago I know our outcome would have been much different.Thank you so so much for sharing your story. We were at an intersection when we were hit as an indirect head on collision by a Toyota Rav 4 going apprx 50 mph. Finn was completely uninjured. I know had he been FF he would have been seriously injured maybe even killed. While I have always been a protective parent I always turned my kids FF shortly after age 1. After coming here and reading and then seeing your grandson's story I knew I would keep Finn RF as long as possible. Thank you seems inadequate but just know you saved another child


New member
I also wanted to add that Joel's Journey convinced me to keep my daughter rear facing as well.
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CPS Technician
Yep. I used Joel's video when my sister was 5 months pg to convince her to ERF. Now, my 20 month old niece happily rear-faces and will for a while still.

Kobain's Mommy

Well-known member
Joel's story convinced my DH that 12 months isn't some magic number for FFing a baby. He's now saying DS will be RFing till at least 2 years old if not longer.


New member
Joel's story is what I found & showed J's mom when researching convertibles. Before the video was over she made up her mind to ERF.

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