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#1 of 32 Old 03-10-2012, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So when did you all turn your extended rear facing forever cause you got the tallest carseat children around? My preschooler is missing out on seeing what is going on out the window and is asking to turn around. He is still under the height and weight limit and might be until he is 8 I think. Anyone with a small kid who waited until they outgrew all seats? When was it? Is 4.5 or 5years old ok to turn around the seat even if they still fit rearfacing?

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#2 of 32 Old 03-10-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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I would be absolutely fine turning a 4yo who wanted to face forward.


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#3 of 32 Old 03-10-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by theresa1 View Post

So when did you all turn your extended rear facing forever cause you got the tallest carseat children around? My preschooler is missing out on seeing what is going on out the window and is asking to turn around. He is still under the height and weight limit and might be until he is 8 I think. Anyone with a small kid who waited until they outgrew all seats? When was it? Is 4.5 or 5years old ok to turn around the seat even if they still fit rearfacing?



My youngest I turned early because I had a britax for him and he kept signing pain and pointing to his legs (the britax seats have very little leg room).  My middle child I turned at 3.  He was within 2lbs of the rfing weight limit and begging to be turned around.  My youngest is still rfing and 2 1/2 and not complaining or close to outgrowing her seat, so we'll see.


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#4 of 32 Old 03-11-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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I gave my son a choice at 4y and he flipped back and forth for the next few months.  He did finally outgrow by weight and height (his seat is a 33lb RF limit Blvd) before he was 4.5y, so he ended up permanent forward facing.


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#5 of 32 Old 03-11-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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My son is 3.5 and still rear-facing. He's about 30lbs and 39in. I plan to turn him once his sister outgrows the bucket and move her to his seats and buy him a Nautilus.

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#6 of 32 Old 03-11-2012, 06:48 PM
 
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I turned my son a week after his 3rd birthday because he had been bugging me to turn FF for 6 mons and I told him after he turned 3 we could talk about it. I did rear face him the few times we went on long highway trips for a few mons after I turned him. He is not small though and was 41lbs naked and about 38" tall so almost at the limit RF, however he didn't hit 45lbs dressed till he was almost 4 So I could have kept him RF but I was comfortable with turning him at 3 (eventually :) ).


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#7 of 32 Old 03-15-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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I turned my daughter at 2.5 because she would get carsick and vomit, and I had to make a long commute with her, so I didn't want her to be sick all the time.  We'll see if I can keep my son rear facing a little longer.  Maybe he won't be prone to carsickness!


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#8 of 32 Old 03-16-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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I am pretty sure my DD is going to outgrow by height before she is 4, but if she doesn't grow more than 1/2" in the next 8mos I would probably still be willing to switch FF at 4. My understanding is that the ossification of the spinal column is generally accomplished sometime between 3-4, and that is what makes the difference for really safe FF. So, I wouldn't voluntarily switch until 4, myself.

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#9 of 32 Old 03-16-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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By 4, I would totally let them choose. Really, if they were kicking up a huge fuss by 3.5 or so I would probably be OK turning. My big kids had 33lb RFing seats, so we didn't have that issue!

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#10 of 32 Old 03-16-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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I turned both of mine between 3 and 3.5 when they outgrew the seat by height and weight.  With DS I *could* have bought a new radian once the angle adjuster was available (non-compatible in my van without) and flipped him back rf, but realistically due to the backlog he was ff for several months before that could have happened and at this point it's not worth the price tag to me.  I did consider it very seriously and look extensively for another option.

 

 

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#11 of 32 Old 03-16-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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My son just turned 4 a few weeks ago and is still rear facing in his Britax. He begs to be turned around so he can see out the front, but the seat isn't causing him pain and he is still under the weight and hight limits so I am insisting that he stay rear facing for now. 

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#12 of 32 Old 03-23-2012, 06:05 PM
 
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If they are toddlers, then you turn them forward when they start complaining about either the view or the leg room.  Seriously, if they are using words to tell you they want to be turned around then it is safe.  


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#13 of 32 Old 03-23-2012, 07:13 PM
 
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Verbal ability has absolutely nothing to do with spinal ossification and it is not safe to have a "toddler" forward-facing.


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#14 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 03:41 AM
 
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That is categorically, factually, inarguably, nonsensically, illogically false.   

 

Reminds me of the, "If they can ask to nurse, they're too old."

I don't like elephants.   Should I buy a Honda?      (There's another example of two completely unrelated issues that have nothing to do with each other.)
 

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If they are toddlers, then you turn them forward when they start complaining about either the view or the leg room.  Seriously, if they are using words to tell you they want to be turned around then it is safe.  



 


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#15 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 04:37 AM
 
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Okay.  Somebody post a link to a very good site that will help us make this decision instead of arguing or being mean to each other.

 

Our toddler is two and about 36 pounds and in the 75% for height.  We have been discussing FF also.


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#16 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 05:42 AM
 
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It's not being 'mean' when it's pointed out that someone has taken the discussion from genuine questions based on fact and wanting to understand, to the sublimely absurd, such as the assertion that being able to talk means it's safe to be forward facing.  That is patently illogical and deserves a little ribbing.  


Two years is the bare minimum to forward face.   Am I going to clutch my pearls and faint over a forward facing two year old?  No.  Would I ever suggest it as an option or do it with a child in my care now that we have inexpensive restraints that can do better?  Absolutely not.  

If you'll go to the NHTSA page on child passenger safety, you'll see that children under 4 years should remain rear facing as long as they fit.  

I do want to clarify one thing:  your son being slightly larger than average does NOT mean he's safer in a forward facing seat.  He is in just as much danger as, say, a 5th percentile 20 lb two year old.    Size has absolutely nothing to do about whether forward facing is safe.   

It's about age and vertebral ossification, which is relative to time.  That doesn't start til the earliest at three.  Most kids are well on the way to ossified vertebrae at 4, which is why 3-4 is a respectable goal.  

 

 

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Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

Okay.  Somebody post a link to a very good site that will help us make this decision instead of arguing or being mean to each other.

 

Our toddler is two and about 36 pounds and in the 75% for height.  We have been discussing FF also.



 


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#17 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'm a little unclear about spinal ossification and I haven't switched to FF yet. Does anyone have any good references on it. When I did a quick google search I learned that it happens between 4 and 6 years of age. Is that accurate? Are there any studies about completed spinal ossification associated with less injury during a crash? Thanks for all of your input!

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#18 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 06:09 AM
 
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There are several studies on what happens to a spinal cord when it is placed under duress in the years before ossification.   

Let me see if I can explain it a little better.   (I apologize if I'm being pedantic and stating things you think are 'well, duh'.)     The spinal CORD is a collection of nerves/nerve bundles that run from the base of the brain down the back, where they end in a sort of horse's tail.  This is the connection between your brain and the rest of your body.   

Depending on where the spinal cord is damaged, you can have neurological symptoms that range from very minor to very serious to fatal.  The farther up the injury, the more likely the injury is to be *over* the place where sensory and excitatory neurons from/for key body regulatory functions for, example, the respiratory system, attach.  

The spinal cord is extremely fragile, which is why it's encased in a bony structure called the 'spinal column'.   The spinal column is made up up individual bones called vertebrae.   Each vertebrae looks sort of like a three cornered hat and one is stacked on top of the other, with a hole in the middle, creating an empty space in the middle of a flexible series of bones for the cord to run down, completely protected on all sides.   It's a pretty decent system.  

 

The spinal cord itself is delicate and can't handle much fuss and bother.  Once it stretches about a quarter inch, you're risking permanent damage or even severing to those individual delicate nerves.   A fully developed spinal column usually manages to prevent that sort of stretching, even when severe stresses (such as a car accident), are placed on the head.  

However, when a baby is born, its bones aren't fully ossified.  (This means the calcium and other mineral deposits in the cartilaginous tissue that turns bones from soft stuff into hard stuff).  Imagine how hard it would be to deliver a baby that had rigid bones!  

In an adult, each individual vertebra is a solid, fused piece of bone.  In an infant, each vertebra is more or less in three very flimsily, cartilaginous pieces.   These pieces simply cannot prevent the cord from stretching or breaking under duress (another reason shaking a baby is so very dangerous).    Slowly, over the years, more and more mineral deposits are added to those pieces until eventually, each vertebra is a fully fused, singular piece, instead of a floppier piece of cartilage divided into three.   

That process of mineral deposits starts at birth, but really begins in earnest around the third birthday.  It takes awhile, but for most kids, the process is either complete or near enough to complete that the major protection against injury is in place by around 4 (there are some kids who take longer, but six is an outlier, for sure.)  

In a forward facing accident, the child's head (which is quite heavy even without the added force of a crash!) is flung forward uncontrollably, putting unbelievable strain on those delicate nerves in the cord.  For a fully or nearly fused column, most of that energy can be nicely diverted down the ossified bones and a major spinal catastrophe is prevented.    For a younger child, the spinal column is just not yet developed enough to do the job.   As long as that child is rear facing, the shell of the seat sort of acts as a plastic spinal column, cradling the child's head and diverting the energy around the spinal cord instead of into it.  

Did I make sense? :-) 
 

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Originally Posted by theresa1 View Post

So I'm a little unclear about spinal ossification and I haven't switched to FF yet. Does anyone have any good references on it. When I did a quick google search I learned that it happens between 4 and 6 years of age. Is that accurate? Are there any studies about completed spinal ossification associated with less injury during a crash? Thanks for all of your input!



 

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#19 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Excellent explanation.  Thank you.


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#20 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 07:57 AM
 
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It's not being 'mean' when it's pointed out that someone has taken the discussion from genuine questions based on fact and wanting to understand, to the sublimely absurd, such as the assertion that being able to talk means it's safe to be forward facing.  That is patently illogical and deserves a little ribbing. 

 

 

Rear facing is going to be safer in a collision, or most collisions.  Even for a 5yo.  Even for an adult, if we could ever figure that one out.  

 

The information from the Children's Hospital who taught me about installing the cars seats (back in the eocene era of 7 years ago) told me to keep them rear facing for as long as possible, only turning them around if they are fussing because they have no room for their legs or are complaining.  Your right about the talking.  I wasn't  thinking that anyone would actually think there is a biological connection between the talking areas of the brain and spinal ossification or whatever is the issue here.  

 

I'm glad it was merely *sublimely* absurd and implying that the idea deserves a little "ribbing" (as you call it) instead of calling *me* illogical.  I'm pretty grumpy first thing in the morning and get pretty irate at anyone touching my ribs.

 

 

 

 


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#21 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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So it sounds like you were given good information...to a point, and then someone interjected a silly opinion not based in fact.   

 

If I had a toddler complain about me taking a butter knife from her so she couldn't stick it in an electrical outlet...well, too bad so sad little one!  And if a toddler complained about rear facing (And my fairly extensive experience is is that they DON'T unless parents put it into their heads that they SHOULD), my response would be the same.      

Kids are perfectly comfortable rear facing, and can see plenty.  And even if they felt cramped and couldn't see a thing, that's still not a justification to turn forward facing considering the absolutely horrid potential results. 


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So it sounds like you were given good information...to a point, and then someone interjected a silly opinion not based in fact.   Yes.  Admittedly, you might have caught this the first time had I not said "Seriously".  Though, contrarily, beginning a sentence with "seriously" is a sure fire sign to not take the following statement all that seriously.  Oops.  I think I'm getting snarky again.

 

If I had a toddler complain about me taking a butter knife from her so she couldn't stick it in an electrical outlet...well, too bad so sad little one!  And if a toddler complained about rear facing (And my fairly extensive experience is is that they DON'T unless parents put it into their heads that they SHOULD), my response would be the same.      Interesting.  I can confidently say that this is not what happened in my experience.  But, I have frightfully limited experience with my own two girls, so perhaps I shouldn't count that as legitimate, let alone "fairly extensive"?

Kids are perfectly comfortable rear facing, and can see plenty.  And even if they felt cramped and couldn't see a thing, that's still not a justification to turn forward facing considering the absolutely horrid potential results.   My kids were not perfectly comfortable.  I'm not entirely sure where they would put their legs at that point.  (We have Britax Boulevard seats, pretty giant, and they still have not outgrown them yet.  Forward facing, that is.)  And like I said, while they might be a safer time to turn them face forward as you suggested by posting your excellent information, forward facing still is not as safe as rear facing, even for kids who are old enough to be turned around.  



 


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#23 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 03:14 PM
 
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Britax are pretty well known for being exceptionally poor for leg room unfortunately, so I imagine your kids probably weren't all that comfortable rear facing once they got tall.

 

To the poster with the 2 year old, here's a couple youtube clips that really helped me understad forward vs rearfacing and the stresses on the body. I think it's a good idea for anyone to watch. After seeing this combined with the information provided above on spinal ossification I think it becomes clear that keeping a toddler rear facing to as close to 4 as you can get is the best option. Obviously there are going to be some cases (severe carsickness for example) when I'd consider turning somewhat earlier but I think in any situation a two year old should be rear facing.

 

 


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Quote:
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Britax are pretty well known for being exceptionally poor for leg room unfortunately, so I imagine your kids probably weren't all that comfortable rear facing once they got tall.

 

You're right, that was my experience.  I managed to keep dd1 rear facing until she was close to 3 before she got too cramped.  I don't remember dd2 as well, but it was around 2-2.5.
 

 


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#25 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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#27 of 32 Old 03-24-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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#28 of 32 Old 03-25-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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If you'll go to the NHTSA page on child passenger safety, you'll see that children under 4 years should remain rear facing as long as they fit.  
 


Thank you for your well-reasoned, obviously informed responses.  If you get a chance, will you post a link to the NHTSA page?

 

Also, I have had some criticism regarding possible hip dysplasia for keeping my two year old RF if he sits cross-legged.  Anything good out there I can use to refute that?

 


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#29 of 32 Old 03-25-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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You can point out that 5 decades worth of children have been sitting in the car rear facing to 4 with no such concerns, and there is no documented history of a child developing hip dysplasia due to rear facing.  

 

http://www.nhtsa.gov/ChildSafety/step2
 

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Thank you for your well-reasoned, obviously informed responses.  If you get a chance, will you post a link to the NHTSA page?

 

Also, I have had some criticism regarding possible hip dysplasia for keeping my two year old RF if he sits cross-legged.  Anything good out there I can use to refute that?

 



 


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#30 of 32 Old 03-25-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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Having legs spread to the side (which is what you mean by cross-legged, right?) is better, not worse, for hip dysplasia. The heads of the femurs are positioned optimally in the socket in that position. If we were to assume that sitting a lot in any one position could cause hip dysplasia in a 2 yo, it would be in a position with legs together and straight out in front. I don't know that that position WOULD cause hip dysplasia, but the brace our daughter was in to TREAT hip dysplasia held her hips in this position, with her femurs at right angles to her body.

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