I recently had our car seats checked by a police officer who was as close to a car seat tech as I could find in my town. I wanted him to check the installation I had done of 2 seats, but he was more concerned about the fact that I still had DS rear facing.
DS is 3years 2.5months
He weighs less than 40lbs
He is 38" tall.
His seat is a Graco MyRide, which rear faces up to 40lbs.
His head is more than 1" from the top of the seat; the user manual says to turn seat forward if head is less than 1" from top.
So, I am following all the rules for rear facing with this seat.
DS has never asked to turn around.
He has never complained about being uncomfortable.
The officer said that it could hurt his legs to sit like that. He also said that having his legs squashed up could somehow cause him to go through the harness in a crash. Idk - that seems really odd to me. He said that in the end, as long as we were following the guidelines of the seat itself, it was a parenting judgment call.
I specifically bought this seat to keep him rear facing as long as possible. I plan to turn him around once he hits the limits. But, is there any harm in keeping him rear facing this long?
Erin - mama to my happy little guy, born April 09
and my sweet baby, born July 12
Nope. As long as your child is within the stated height and weight limits of the seat, and the seat is being used correctly, there are no normal circumstances which would make it safer for him to be facing forward.
There are always highly unusual circumstances. Rarely, some kids vomit constantly when rear-facing. That poses a risk. There's always a chance of a freak accident, like, I don't know, a piano falling on the front half of the car and squishing your RF kid but missing your FF kid. But you can't plan for those kinds of things. Rear-facing is a lot safer for frontal collisions and most types of side-impacts and a little safer for rear-ending accidents.
The officer was misinformed. "As close to a car seat tech as you could find" does not make him a car seat tech. If he were a certified tech I would recommend reporting him to Safe Kids. But since he's not certified I doubt there's anybody you can complain to. You might try calling the police chief's office and telling them that such-and-such officer gave you advice contrary to NHTSA's guidelines and that you think they really ought to get some certified techs in there and tell everyone else to stop handing out advice where they're not qualified.
~*~ Full time mom ~*~ Hobby Sheep Farmer ~*~ Child Passenger Safety Technician ~*~
I agree with brigala.
I would contact whoever and let them know that he's giving out bad advice. Obviously either someone on the force needs to be trained to be a car seat tech OR they need to bring one out.
Ough - he doesn't know what he's talking about. Why are people so concerned about kids legs when they should be concerned about their necks? And why do so many people object to keeping kids rear facing as long as possible? We hear shit from DH's parents ALL.THE.TIME and obviously we ignore it, but why do they think we are doing it wrong?
Happy , delayed/selective vaxxing, WOHM to DD1 4/10 , DD2 8/12 and partner/wife for thirteen years to SAHD DH.