Parents say they don't extended rear-face because...
# 7. The recommendation is to turn them around right at 1 year or 20 lbs.
Wrong: First of all, the old recommendation was to rear face until 1 year AND 20 lbs. It was not meant as a deadline, but rather as a MINIMUM guideline. Secondly, the recommendation has *officially* changed to age 2, although it has been suggested and recommended for much longer than that, as many ERFing (extended rear-facing) moms know!
#6. One mother states that she lives in Florida and it gets "intensely hot" in cars.
Yes, yes it does.
*Sidenote: The risk and fear of new parents leaving their babies in the car, especially in those early sleepless days or the days when routine changes is great. So great, in fact, Brandon and I have a check-in system where when either one of us drops off or picks up Ayes, we call or text one another. Every. Single. Time. We still do, even though Ayla is nearly 2.
However, if my car is 100° when my child is rear-facing, it will STILL be 100° when my child is forward facing. Besides, this probably can/will be solved in a couple ways. #1. Air conditioning will start to circulate while driving (or some who may choose to "cool down" their car ahead of time kind of like those up North have to "warm up" their cars). #2. When the windows get rolled down (since we all don't have A/C), the air will circulate. I promise your child will be okay, even if he/she gets sweaty. I can say this because B's car hasn't had working air conditioning since before I met him. Does Ayla ever get sweaty? Yes. Good thing since sweating is the body's way of cooling itself off.
#5. "My child cries/screams/whines."
Yes, some children may cry when you put them in their car seat. Most children don't really care for being buckled in. Ayla doesn't like it, and I can tell you that I don't care. Don't get me wrong, I love her, but I love her enough to do what is the safest choice possible. Rear-facing seats are 5 times safer in a crash. In fact, rear-facing car seats are so safe, they have become known as "orphan seats." As sad as that is, it brings to light that children who sit rear-facing (properly, of course) tend to be the sole survivors of such bad accidents. I would hate to leave my child behind if we were in such an accident, but I would be smiling down from Heaven to see that she got the chance at the rest of her life.
#4. "My child is tall. My child's legs are too long. His/her legs are all scrunched up. What if he/she breaks his/her legs?"
Most children do not spend their days and nights with their legs sticking out direct in front of them or bent at that perfect 90 degree angle that parents think they're blessing their children with when forward facing. Many children sit criss-cross applesauce or with their legs tucked under them or some other strange way because toddlers are flexible. Seriously, pay attention to your todder and how he/she sits and moves.
Secondly, my daughter is very tall. She is, in fact, taller than all her similarly-aged friends (that I know of). She has always been in the 90-95th percentile for her height. She fits beautifully in her Graco MyRide 65. Also, if you search the web for "extended rear-facing photos" you will find a slew, including those found here.
There hasn't been a single reported incident of a child breaking his/her legs or hips in an accident when rear-facing. Broken legs? Fixable. Broken neck? Lifelong or fatal damage, in most cases. Rear-facing absorbs the impact on a child's entire body in an accident.
Seriously, people, their legs are fine.
#3. "I can't see him/her."
Shouldn't you be watching the road? Even though they aren't recommended (because they could be caused to eject and hit someone in a crash), get yourself one of those little mirrors if you're worried that much. I'll bet that even if it flew off and smacked your baby in the head, it would still be entirely less damaging than internal decapitation, which can occur in forward facing accidents.
#2. "What if we're rear-ended?"
Only 4% of severe accidents were reported as being rear or rear offset crashes versus frontal and frontal offset accounting for 72%. But if that doesn't work for you, check out this mom's story of her serious rear impact accident and how her rear-facing daughter walked away with scrapes, the most minimal injuries of all in the car that day.
#1. "I can't afford a fancy rear-facing seat."
Many convertible car seats today accommodate rear-facing until 35-40 lbs! If you can't afford a $150-$300 seat, that is understandable. However, with all the gadgets and gizmos we can afford (IPhone, internet, cable, dining out, daily coffee runs, etc.), can we afford NOT to protect our children? If there was only ONE baby item that you could invest in, this would be the one. Besides, you don't have to spend oodles of dough to protect your child. This Cosco Scenera runs about $50 at Target and can even be found on sale for around $40. It rear faces to 40 lbs just like its more expensive counterparts. There are, of course, differences between this seat and the more expensive ones (I know because I own a Scenera too!), but at the end of the day if you're rear-facing your child, they are SAFER. Much, much safer!
Why don't we rear-face? Why do so many parents view it as a milestone proving how "advanced and brilliant" their child is?
We baby-proof, putting socket covers in all our outlets. 400 people (not just children) a year die from electrocution in the home. Car accidents kill approximately 260,000 children each year and injure 10 million. 20% of those children are toddlers.
I love my daughter enough to be the "uncool mom," spend the money, potentially upset her, cause her to bend her little legs (isn't that what knees are for?), be sweaty, and not see her pretty little face if it protects her 5 times better in an accident. With that brings the promise of many more days and years of seeing her lovely smile.
Taking a drink after a fun trip to the park
She isn't a baby anymore! (But she'll always be MY baby!)
Look at those looooooooong legs. Doesn't she look SO uncomfortable? (insert sarcastic snicker here)