As new parents, my wife and I continuously have a million questions running through our heads regarding the safety of our daughter. Her one year birthday marks a huge transitional period where she will wean away from some aspects of her young life and be introduced to new concepts. A forward-facing car seat, however, is not one of them.
Until recently, experts suggested switching babies from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats right after their first birthday. In the last few years, however, a study finding that children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to suffer a severe or fatal injury if they are facing the rear has experts changing their minds. In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its recommendation to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until the age of two.
But why rear-facing to begin with? Doctors explain that baby's neck bones are not yet developed enough to fully support the head, which is abnormally larger than the rest of the body at that age. While a rear-facing seat's shell protects the entire body if the car were to crash, a baby's head and neck are more vulnerable to move forward without support in a forward-facing seat.
By Matt Schmidt