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Why I Changed My Car Seat Back to Rear-Facing Position
I got into my car, snapped my seat belt on and took a deep breath….
My arm throbbed from carrying my son and his enormous car seat ten feet from the house to the car. I turned the car on and backed out of the driveway as my son’s blood-curling screams ring in my head. My son and I did this every single day until I changed to a forward-facing car seat.
After that, my son never cried in his car seat again. It wasn’t hard for me to imagine what it would have been like had I just changed his car seat months ago! I’m reminded of that time as I read a heartbreaking story of a mother of two beautiful baby girls in a terrible car accident that nearly killed one child.
Angela Brown posted pictures on her Facebook page of the life-saving capabilities of car seats if used properly and as directed. So why then did one car seat save one child and the other nearly died? The difference is the fact that the child that broke her back in two different places was not in a rear-facing car seat.
In a rear-facing position, a child’s head, neck, and spine are better protected. This is because the child moves along the force of impact’s direction cradled by the car seat rather than opposing it in a forward-facing car seat (A visual representation of this would be the people aboard a boat during a storm). This is especially important in developing children because their spinal columns are not yet fully developed and therefore are soft and susceptible to stretching.
As I looked as the pictures of Angela’s children, I feel incredible sadness and sympathy, but also an undeniable sense of guilt. I ignored recommendations that my son should stay rear-facing and in fact, had also changed my son to forward-facing position right before he turned two years old. As my son sits on my lap as I write this, I can’t help but feel emotional that a simple choice could’ve changed his life so dramatically.
My son is now three years old and today I asked my husband to change his forward-facing car seat back to rear-facing position. Thank you, Angela, for sharing your heartbreaking story and opening my eyes and many others!
Here is Angela’s Facebook post: