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GRACO: Buying a Rear-Facing Car Seat That Lasts

image079Your first car seat will be a rear-facing, and the law in most provinces and territories requires that your baby travel rear facing until they hit 10 kg (22 lbs).

There’s no law that requires them to switch to front-facing after passing 10 kg. In fact, a 2007 study in Injury Prevention showed that children under age two are 75% less likely to be severely injured (or worse) in a collision if they are rear-facing.

In the event of a crash, the back of the rear-facing child restraint absorbs the bulk of force. This means that the impact is distributed over your baby’s back rather than over their chest and the car seat’s straps, thus protecting their vitals.

As long as your child is still below the weight and height limits of your current child seat, you should use it for as long as possible. So when you’re out shopping for your first car seat, pay attention to the weight and height limits.

Graco, for example, offers several car seats built to keep babies rear-facing longer like the SnugRide 30 and the SnugRide 35 that can be used up to 30 or 35 pounds respectively. If you want to really extend your baby’s rear-facing stage, the Graco My Ride 65 is good up to 40 lbs.

Two rear-facing myths debunked

If you’re concerned that your bigger child won’t be comfortable in rear-facing mode, don’t be. They’re more than capable of curling their legs towards them. And if they prefer to let their legs dangle off the end of the car seat, that’s fine too. In a properly-installed rear-facing car seat, it’s 100% safe.

Another concern some parents have is the increased risk of motion sickness when riding rear-facing. In truth, motion sickness is a function of passing scenery and not the motion itself, so if your little one is going to get sick, it won’t matter what direction they’re facing. If this is persistent problem, think about covering the back seat windows.

Enjoy the ride!

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