If you are looking to figure out what the forward facing car seat guidelines are, then you have come to the right place. On this page we will outline what the consensus is and what the different relevant organizations have to say about this issue.
What You Need To Know
Kids just under 2 are suffering more crash related injuries because they are coming out of the rear-facing position too soon. The consensus is that having your child sit in the rear-facing position for as long as possible is the best thing you can do for your child in terms of safety.
Sitting in the rear facing position for as long as the car seat will allow reduces the risk of serious spinal cord and head injuries in the case of a crash.
Why Do Parents Often Switch To Forward Facing Too Soon?
It is estimated that a little over half of all kids are moved to the forward facing position before 2 years old.
The reason for this is the outdated guidelines that use that age of 2 years old. Many look at that age and think of it as an age limit or a graduation age. That is why they changed the guidelines, because people were getting confused.
In some cases the child’s cries influence the parents’ decision to move the kid forward facing. Some parents decide that they can’t bare the hours of screaming and would do anything to keep them from crying so much.
When’s The Best Time To Switch To forward-facing?
Some would say that you should keep your kid rear-facing until the age of 4. That might sound unreasonable to those people who don’t understand how collisions work. Isn’t the whole purpose of having your child in the car seat to minimize the risk of serious injury?
What Do The Expert Organizations Have To Say About All This?
The AAP and NHTSA recently removed the age specification and instead recommended that your child stay in the rear facing position for as long as your car seat will allow. When your child graduates from an infant only car seat parents will find that most of the forward facing car seats available also have a rear facing position with fairly high weight and height limits. Many parents ignore those weight and height limits and opt to move their kids to the forward facing position.
How Long Before You Can Ditch The Forward Facing Car Seat?
You should keep your kid in the forward facing car seat until they reach the height or weight limit for the car seat. Once they reach the limit, then you move them to a booster seat.
The consensus is that you keep your child in the rear facing position for as long as possible, but if you don’t want to do that, then you don’t have to. If your child meets the forward facing position requirements for your particular car seat, then you are operating within the law.