Guidelines for Rear-Facing/Forward-Facing
Provided by the
National Child Passenger Safety Certification Program (NHTSA):
Always check the child restraint manufacturer's instructions
for upper and lower weight/height limits.
At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until 1 year of age
and at least 20 pounds. Experts recommend that children remain rear-facing
until the age of 2 if possible. Check your owner's manual to make sure they
have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model.
Parents may wonder if legs are at risk for injury. Children
commonly sit with their legs crossed or resting on the back of the vehicle
seat. Risk of injury to legs in a crash is low, and injuries to the lower
extremity are usually less severe with fewer long-term complications than
injuries to the head, neck, or spine, which occur more commonly when a child is
seated in the forward-facing position.
Because the rear-facing position is safest, children should
ride rear facing as long as possible (but never exceed the manufacturer's
weight and height limits).
Older children with poor head control who are within height
and weight requirements of a child restraint benefit from staying rear facing