I just flipped my girl back around to RF again last night after some necessary husband convincing. Now I am wondering if I should dig out the mirror I used when she was littler, or if none of you think it is really necessary at this age. She might like to talk to herself and see more with it there. Is there any reason not to use it? Thoughts?
Everything I've read says that theoretically they are not safe and should not be used. I have not used one with my kids. I think I *would* consider it if it would help a situation with an unhappy child, but I wouldn't use one automatically.
Do you know why they are considered unsafe?
They are considered unsafe since anything that is in a car can become a projectile in an accident. I've heard the phrase "If you wouldn't throw it at your babies face, don't have it in your car." I don't know the math but even a 1lb object can have some ridiculous force in an accident. I bet a CPST could explain it better.
That said, I personally have a tethered mirror for my rear facing kids. It's a risk i wouldn't advise to anyone else but I'm ok with my choice.
We use a tethered mirror for long trips. It's soft, fairly pliable, and has plush sides and weighs far less than 1 lb so I'm OK with it. I don't think it's quite as necessary now that DD is verbal and can tell us what she wants but I still like to be able to glance back if she's eating in the van as I have a probably irrational fear of her choking and me not noticing because I can't see her.
I figure if I have a water bottle in the van with me it's far more dangerous so the mirro is not something I worry about.
My understanding of the safety concern (assuming the mirror is light/padded) is that it creates a distraction to the driver and can obstruct their views of blind spots.
I personally like having a mirror so I can see if they're awake or asleep, how they look in colour (e.g. not turning blue!) and, for a toddler, if their belt is fastened properly (ie. they're not playing with the buckle, sliding it down, etc.). I don't spend long looking at them - just a quick glance, similar to what I do anyway to keep track of what vehicles are behind me.