New Info on Rear-Facing Car Seats Has Experts Worried (VIDEO)

Rear-facing car seat safety testIf there's one thing on a parent's mind, it's his or her child's safety -- and as much as we'd love to protect our kids from harm's way, accidents unfortunately happen. A study published in last month's issue of the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention that reveals possible head injuries a child can sustain in a rear-facing car seat has caused concern among experts, but also much-need discussion.

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The study in question found a crash-test dummy representing a 6-month-old baby experienced significant head injuries during a 30 mph rear-facing crash test, which raised eyebrows. Even with an attached LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) in place, there wasn't much protection from head-related trauma (the study claims head injuries were more severe with a LATCH instead of a seat belt).

As you might've guessed, video of a test -- including the car seat tipping forward -- made other safety experts very nervous that parents would see this and not keep their baby or toddler rear-facing.

More from The Stir: 10 Ways Car Seats Can Be Dangerous for Your Kids

It's reported that young children are five times safer in a car seat that's rear-facing, and are, by far, least likely to experience injuries.

No matter their findings, experts involved in this study say they are not trying to prove rear-facing car seats are unsafe, but rather are expressing concern that creates solutions to keep children safer in the event of a rear-impact crash.

Because of the greater focus on front-end and side-impact collisions (the Washington Post mentions car seats sold in the United States have to meet safety requirements for frontal collisions), Jamie Williams, coauthor of this study, and her colleagues would like for rear-end collisions to get more attention -- as children in rear-facing car seats might look like they haven't suffered any injuries (some return to their original position) but are too young to speak up.

More from The Stir: 9 Lifesaving Car Seat Rules You're Probably Ignoring

As much of a worry rat as I can be, I think more information can potentially keep our children safer. Watching this video certainly didn't make me feel warm and fuzzy (one expert points out most rear-end collisions don't happen at this speed), but that doesn't mean I won't keep my little ones rear-facing -- or think these concerns aren't worthy of a little more attention.

I don't know about you, but I think it's important for safety experts, manufacturers, and the powers that be come to the table and figure out more ways to keep our kids safer.

All of these "what if" scenarios do nothing for my anxiety.


Image via The Washington Post

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