As a parent, you always want to do what is best for your child. You might think that as long as your child is in a car seat, they’re safe, but that’s not necessarily the truth. While 325 children under 5 were saved by car seats in 2017, depending on your child’s age and size, different types of car seats could be safer than others, like rear-facing car seats.
Though it might sound more dangerous for your baby’s car seat to face backwards in the car, it actually is safer for them in the event of a collision. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that rear-facing car seats are safer for very young and small children because it keeps them in a more stationary position and keeps their head from falling forward since their neck muscles aren’t strong enough to hold up their heads that are larger than their bodies, which can cause injury or even death if they obstruct their breathing.
As recommended by the AAP, children should be in rear-facing car seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat. The toddler may reach 2 years old and be big enough to transition into a front-facing car seat, but if they have not reached the height and weight requirements, they should remain in a rear-facing seat. These recommendations are great guidelines, but you should also go by state laws for car seats.