Thistles- Aah! I hate when I see things like that. I've never once called the police (I'd doubt they'd do anything, not sure what their protocal on this is) or anything. I've been tempted to leave notes.. Egh. Just plain ol' misuse or non-use of car seats. KWIM? A forward facing INFANT seat.. ten kids in the back seat.. it's like the norm around here.
mom0810- By law, yes, you can, if they're 20lbs and 12 months old. There are tons of studies though, as well as crash test videos that state differently. It is reccommended now by many experts to keep your child rear facing until the limit on their convertible car seat is reached. For example.. a child can rear face in a seat until they meet the max rear-facing weight (usually 35lbs), and until their head is 1" from the top of the shell. At the time where those criteria are met, they can be turned around.
There are higher-weight rear facing seats out there, like the Sunshine Kids Radians (www.skjp.com
), The Graco MyRide65, and the Safety 1st Complete Air, which is what we have for our DD. Each of these rear faces to at LEAST 40lbs. I expect to have my DD rear facing until she's around 4, based on her current height and weight and the room she still has to grow in the seat.
One BIG misconseption that I and other moms get is "well, what do they do with their legs? Won't their legs break?" Well, sure, it is possible. But a greater possiblity being FORWARD facing is breaking their necks. I believe that broken legs are better than a broken neck. Sure, I'd prefer neither, but kids are 500% safer rear facing
for that reason.
Here are some crash test videos that show rear facing vs. forward facing. These might make up your mind for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8mFsXNXOLwhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmUW...eature=related
Here is a video about extended rear facing:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_s2mE5ZVeQ
Here is a sad story for you. This grandpa is now a huge extended rear facing (ERF) supporter. He gives alot of good explanation in the video though.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8gU9zzCGA8
And this is why parents are advised now to keep their kids in a 5-point harness as long as possible instead of just jumping to a booster seat right away http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2kO8...eature=related
Hope that all helped a little bit!