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turning the car seat around at 24 lbs? wwyd?

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
DH and I have britax boulevards in each of our cars. DS is only 24 lbs. I was planning on waiting till 35 lbs to turn the seat around, BUT we live in Phoenix, where it gets really hot, and when he's rearfacing, not only is the sun shining on him from the rear window, but the air doesn't blow on him. especially as it continues to get hotter out, we feel this is VERY unsafe. He just gets too warm. So DS suggested to me today that we turn the seats around. I'm so torn because I know it's safer for him to rearface in terms of the seat, but it's definitely not safe to be sitting in a hot car either. Oh, and the drive to daycare is about 30-45 minutes each way...

post #2 of 57
I would not turn him around. I will freely admit I don't live in your area and don't deal with such extreme heat, but a couple of suggestions that might work:

1. Bring a cool drink in the car that he can sip from while he's back there
2. Put the sticky window shade in the rear window (the kind that sticks directly to the glass)
3. Keep a light colored towel draped over the car seat when not in use.
4. Prior to getting in the car, turn it on and allow it to cool down.
post #3 of 57
I should also point out that the likelihood that he would be truly injured or ill from the warm car is slim to none at all, presuming you do have the air conditioning running. He may get warm, but not dangerously so.

OTOH, the danger of being in an accident is far more likely.
post #4 of 57
Since he is 18 months old I would probably turn him around - the heat in Phoenix is nothing to mess around with, even with air conditioning blasting if you're not in line with getting vents you can overheat too much.

It would be different if you were in someplace like Ohio which has hot summers - but not hot like Phoenix. 85 degrees is a huge difference than 105 degrees when trying to keep a car and child cool.

(I say this as someone whose 2 year old is still rearfacing and is 25 lbs - if we suddenly lived in Phoenix I would turn him).
post #5 of 57
post #6 of 57
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
I should also point out that the likelihood that he would be truly injured or ill from the warm car is slim to none at all, presuming you do have the air conditioning running. He may get warm, but not dangerously so.

OTOH, the danger of being in an accident is far more likely.
i agree completely with this. if the car is tolerable for anyone to drive in, he wont suffer injury. OTOH, he is soo small to be FF'ing.
post #7 of 57
I live in Houston. Serious heat issues here too. I would not even consider turning around an 18 mo old for that reason.

Something like the link posted to cool the seat before you put him in it- sure. Towels to cover it when you get out? Absolutely.

Turn him around? No way. Way too dangerous.

post #8 of 57
Thread Starter 
okay, i'm realizing i probably shouldn't have posted in this forum. maybe it would have been better to post in my tribe. the thing is that unless you live or have lived somewhere where 110-115 degrees is the norm during the summer, i think it's impossible to provide advice on this. i used to live in chicago, and when i lived there, i would probably would have provided the same (very good) advice that you all are giving me.

i'm not trying to be argumentative. i would like to keep him rearfacing, but I haven't seen any solutions that will REALLY solve the heat issue (beyond what we already do, which is turn the car on ahead of time to let it cool, crank the air way up, give him a cold drink, and the windows are already tinted, which helps block some sun...we've tried the sunshades before and they didn't make a difference in terms of temperature. we also have a garage and try to do covered parking at work, so that the car is not sitting in direct sunlight before we get in). The only way we're remotely okay during the summer here is if there is an air vent blowing directly on us, but there is not one to blow on DS when he's rearfacing. So any other feedback is much appreciated. Honestly not trying to be a pain- I never would have thought this would be such an issue before living here and having a child, but it really is a serious concern...it's not like he gets just a *little* warm in the car. We really feel it is very unsafe. So maybe I should have framed my question as "I'd like to keep him rearfacing but am at a loss as to how to do that and keep him cool enough with 115 degree temps outside. Does anyone with experience in this type of climate have any suggestions?"

post #9 of 57

What about..uh...rigging up this here doohickey? I'm not a big fan of projectiles, but I'd rather see that than your little bitty forward facing...
post #10 of 57
i lived in Louisiana and it gets really hot and humid there in the summer and i did waht others are suggesting you do.
post #11 of 57
OP, I've been to Phoenix when it was 120 degrees and it is unbarable (it's part of the reason we didn't move there!) I would change him forward facing. He needs air on him or else he very easily could overheat on your drive to work. Having cold water to drink and making sure there is a sun shade over him are all very good and well, but it still gets really hot and if he's sweating by the time you get to work, switch him.

Good luck!
post #12 of 57
We lived in Phoenix when DD1 was born. She was born July 1 and the week after she was born it was 118*. Trust me, BTDT. She was ERF no problem. We put her on the side and angled the middle A/C vents straight up at the ceiling, so the air bounces off and goes into the back seat. We never had a problem and I would never turn an 18 month old for that reason. Also, if you don't have tinted windows get window clings.
post #13 of 57
This could be a very impractical suggestion, but... Would getting a different car such as a mini van be an option? Wouldn't have the rear window problem, and they often have backseat blowers. Not sure what i'd do.
post #14 of 57
I'm having a really hard time imagining why it would make a difference to be FF or RF in terms of cooling off- especially after the first 5 or 10 minutes in the car. I'd imagine that once the car is cooled off, the AC works to maintain the temp, not to lower the temp furthur.

Would a battery powered fan work to help cool him off, if the fans built into the vehicle don't blow directly on him?
post #15 of 57
I would probably turn him. We get that heat here and I know what you mean about it being scary hot. One of my kids almost passed out from the heat in the car once when she was RF. If you are not right in the line of the vent it's as if the AC is not on at all. I'm not a fan of turning kids under 2, but if the sun is shinning on him in the direction when you are traveling and you don't have the good kind of air vents that blow from the roof or can be angled down, I would consider turning him around.
post #16 of 57
I live in Idaho and it doesn't get Phoenix hot but last summer it was 110 and we were driving home. All of a sudden my son got really quiet then started whimpering. We, of course, had the AC going full blast. Our volvo didn't have rear air conditioning vents. We pulled over to check on him and he was soooo red faced, sweating, and clammy. I turned him right then and there so the air conditioning vents could hit him. When we got home we switched cars so I could have the car with the rear ac vents and DH would drive the volvo so he could stay rf. I totally understand how thats not an option for everyone, but I've been there, and I turned him for that short ride.

I'm freaking out now because our new CRV doesn't have rear ac vents, but it seems that its big enough the ac circulates well.

post #17 of 57
Having spent summers in that kind of heat with a mother who refuses to use AC....

I wouldn't turn him around.

Your body adjusts to the heat as the summer goes on. How do you think people survived before they had AC?

I live in a climate with extreme cold in the winter. I know what you mean about not all 'safest' solutions are practical. I will admit that I do put DD in a 'real' snowsuit before leaving the house in the winter. And when it's -22F I don't even think about taking it off in the car. So she does sit with thick padding between her and the car seat straps simply because there isn't a good solution.

But heat is different. And kids react diferently to heat than adults. I remember around the time I was 13 or 14 suddenly thinking that it was REALLY REALLY hot when we'd go on vacation to places like southern Italy (115F). Before that - I never noticed.
post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
i'm the op...just wanted to add...my car DOES have backseat blowers (it's a honda pilot). the air coming out of them is really cool, but they don't seem to cool him down when he's rearfacing because they just blow on the back of the carseat.
post #19 of 57
Are they not adjustable? They will help the air circulate either way. I would just crank the A/C and let the car cool down before you get your DS in his seat. Aim the center front vents straight up at the ceiling--the air will bounce of the ceiling and go into the backseat better.
post #20 of 57
Phoenix wasn't heavily settled until AFTER the invention of home cooling. Before that there were a few people (mostly TB patients sent for the dry air), but it didn't take off until air conditioning.
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