im really glad we could help you sort thru this, and i'm sure a lot of other folks learned a lot as well.
When did you switch to forward-facing? - Page 5
it is a interesting talk, and really like TED talks
i think it super misses a few points.
- in the raw data he puts out first it does not seem to take in account the much larger number of of kids that start off in a carseat vs seatbelt in the final numbers. since all the kids that are not injured are not ever reported. (i may be misunderstanding this, it seems like a obvious and egregious oversight, so i may be wrong)
- it is testing forward facing and we already know that rear facing is way better, this seems, in part, to prove our point that forward facing carseats are a dramatic step down in safety, to see what I'm talking about look at the videos in the 2nd post and see the difference between FF and RF just in carseats, the FF does in fact look similar to the adult belt crash, horrible. but the RF looks very very different and that is the point many of us have been making
- this crash data with adult lap and shoulder belts also assumes that the kid is sitting in exactly the correct position when the crash starts and one of the biggest reasons to use older carseat or booster is to position wiggly kids in correct relation to their safety belts so that they can actually work like they are intended. in reality smaller kids rarely sit properly in adult seats, and even worse when they fall asleep. they lean forward, stick their arms thru the belt wrong, lean over, slide around and it is very hard to police when driving. hence booster seats are mostly just positioners, they use the adult seat, but make it harder for the small kid to be in a bad position.
what i take away from this video, and thanks for sharing it, is
- that FF is very little benefit over just a adult lap and shoulder belt and that both are seriously dangerous for small kids. So if i want to truly improve my kids safety rather than just "feel like I'm doing something" i need to Rear Face as long as i can.
- when i can no longer rear face, i will still use something that functions as a very good body positioned, so that i can be sure that if and when a crash happens, my kid is in proper contact with their seat belt or harness to get the most out of it.
i also get a bit sick when folks start to say if 10% better is worth the cost, that is a budget decision, and therefor not for them to be making.
Levitt was only looking at available data and comparing carseats (general) to seat belts for children over age 2.
He wrote in the NY Times: "For children younger than roughly 24 months, seat belts plainly won't do. For them, a car seat represents the best practical way to ride securely"
He was only looking at actual carseat usage. Since other studies show that carseats are routinely used improperly then the data is only examining IMproper carseat usage with seatbelts, not proper carseat usage with seatbelts. Levitt's MIT paper says, "Because many child safety seats are, in actual use, improperly installed, our estimates are likely to understate the benefits associated with proper use of child safety seats."
Since we know that most parents turn their kids to forward facing at age 1 or earlier then Levitt's data only examines forward-facing carseat usage with seat belts. In fact, the term "rear-facing" wasn't in his paper at all.
He explains that the data was limited. Many states don't keep good data. So that's another problem with anyone making conclusions based on his analysis.
Lastly, even his analysis found that "child safety seats are now statistically significantly better than all the other devices" for preventing nonincapacitating injuries.
Edited by marsupial-mom - 2/19/13 at 7:21pm