TRAV­EL­LING WITH KIDS? KEEP THEM REAR-FAC­ING LONGER

Road Today - - Road Safety -

Many par­ents know that in­fants should travel rear-fac­ing in their car seat, but a re­cent sur­vey of Cana­dian par­ents hosted on An­gus Reid Fo­rum re­veals that nearly twothirds an­swered in­cor­rectly or were un­sure about when to switch their child to a front­fac­ing po­si­tion. Al­most half find that car seat safety stan­dards are al­to­gether con­fus­ing.

While par­ents may be tempted to tran­si­tion their chil­dren from rear-fac­ing to for­ward-fac­ing car seats as soon as pos­si­ble, Trans­port Canada, which tests and cer­ti­fies all car seats across the coun­try, says chil­dren are the safest in rear-fac­ing car seats as long as they are still be­low the seat’s weight and height re­stric­tions.

Erin Varano, a cer­ti­fied pas­sen­ger safety tech­ni­cian with Graco, says one of the most com­mon ques­tions she has been asked over the years is when to switch from a rear-fac­ing po­si­tion to for­ward-fac­ing. To help par­ents feel more con­fi­dent, she rec­om­mends al­le­vi­at­ing the guess work and look­ing for con­vert­ible car seats that grow and tran­si­tion with your child, al­low­ing them to travel for­ward­fac­ing un­til 65 pounds.

“Even if your child weighs 10 kilo­grams (22 pounds), is able to walk on their own and your lo­cal laws say you can use a for­ward-fac­ing seat, the rear-fac­ing po­si­tion is safer. I rec­om­mend look­ing for seats de­signed to pro­vide an ex­tra five inches of legroom, like the Graco Ex­tend2­fit Con­vert­ible Car Seat. This al­lows chil­dren to safely ride rear-fac­ing longer and more com­fort­ably as they grow.”

Many par­ents worry about the com­fort of their chil­dren when their feet and legs hit the ve­hi­cle’s rear seat, but Varano says it’s ab­so­lutely fine as long as they are within height and weight lim­its. If you just want to be able to see their smiling, happy faces while you’re driv­ing, re­mind your­self that they’re safer fac­ing the rear.

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