We’ve talked before about car seat laws (specifically here in Texas) but in this blog we want to explore two types of car seat and when you should use them. Should you have a car seat front- or rear-facing? That depends on the age and size of your child. If you are looking at a specific car seat, you may want to look for the owner’s manual on that option for precise details. This blog is general information for the curious.
Should you have a car seat front- or rear-facing?
Babies and small children up to two years old (or slightly older if they are small) should be in a rear-facing car seat for sure. Keeping a child in a rear-facing car seat if the seat is designed for their height and weight is the safest option. Once a child reaches somewhere around 30 to 50 pounds (though a child’s height is also a factor on when they should move to a forward-facing seat or a booster seat) they can be turned around.
What are the advantages of a rear-facing car seat?
While it’s nice to be able to see your child in a front-facing car seat, those seats can actually be very dangerous for babies and small children if there is an accident. A rear-facing child’s car seat offers a lot more back and neck support in the event of a front collision. If a baby is in a car accident they are likely to get neck damage in a front-facing seat because they don’t have enough spine support.
Can you put a rear-facing car seat in the front seat?
Laws about car seats in the front of a vehicle are different in some states. It is dangerous to put a car seat in the front if the air bag in the passenger seat is activated, because the air bag could hit the seat in the event of a crash and hurt the child. If the air bag is deactivated it should be safe to put a seat in the front (check the instructions on the seat to be sure), but it might not be legal in all states.