In our last blog post we spoke to car seats in the front, now we answer a question we often hear, ‘what is the safest spot for a car seat?’
- Other than asserting that the back seat is the safest place for children, there is no data supporting that one seating spot is safer than another. For many years, safety advocates have suggested the center seat, for the obvious reason that the center is farthest from any side impact crash. Though this may seem rational, recent studies have shown children seated in the center or in the far side of side impact crashes have been injured or died, while some children sitting close to the impact had no injuries.
- What is more important is the direction a child faces in the vehicle. A rearfacing child is always safer in all types of collisions. Look at Sweden, where death and injury rates for children ages 0-14 has been virtually avoided for many year, when a child is rearfacing, the back of the seat protects the child’s head, neck and spinal cord, bringing them down deeper into the seat upon impact. The AAP, NHTSA and other safety experts recommend children sit rearfacing up to 2 years old, or the maximum weight and height of the car seat. Some car seats go as high as 50 lbs!