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Extended Rear Facing An Infant. What is it and why?

Updated on May 13, 2010

What is Extended Rear Facing?

Most parents know that the law for a child to stay rear facing is 1 year and 20 pounds. You are not legally allowed to turn your child forward until that time. However, it is now being suggested as 2 years and 30 pounds or longer. This is called Extended Rear Facing (ERF).

What is Extended Rear Facing all about?

I had no clue what this was until I joined a website made just for moms. This is a heated debate. I know that with my son, I could not wait until he was one year and 20 pounds. He screamed from 10 months on whenever he was put into the car seat. Once he met the minimum requirements, he was turned around. I never knew about ERF. New research now shows that children that ERF to two years old are 5 times safer than a forward facing child.

Advocates for ERF have valid points. Their main focus, keeping their babies alive. If you look at the statistics for car crashes, you will notice that a large amount of crashes occur to the front of the vehicle rather than the back of the vehicle. Rear ended crashes only account for 4% of crashes. When a child is forward facing, it puts a lot of pressure on the neck. Having an accident with a child forward facing (FF) puts the child at risk for paralysis due to their neck possibly snapping. FF children sit up at a 30 degree angle. A rear facing child faces 45 degree angle. Just the degree that a child is facing at can add more of an impact in a crash.

There are more statistics, but this is a quick overview of what ERF is. I hope that each parent will do their own research and do what is best for their family.

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