Rear-facing car seat alert - 2 yr old & under
- 03-27-2011, 01:16 AM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
When my son was nearly 1-year-old he was in a car accident in the United States. My mom was driving home with him in the back seat in a front-facing car seat. It was sunset and the place where we live has a lot of wild animals (deer, bears, foxes etc.).
Up ahead she could see a large deer coming up onto the highway so she slowed down to let the animal cross--she actually had to stop on the highway. Meanwhile, there was another car coming up behind her but the driver was too distracted looking at the size of the animal up on the highway (apparently it was a very large buck with huge antlers) that he hit her directly from behind going 60 miles per hour (97 kilometer per hour) and she was fully stopped.
The Cosco car seat protected my son well. They were all taken to the emergency room for observation and he had absolutely no injuries. The man who hit my mother's car happened to be the owner of our hometown bank and later he told me that one of the happiest moments of his entire life was when he came around the side of the car, realized there was a car seat there but then saw my son laughing and kicking his feet, totally unharmed.
I'm not sure that a rear-facing car seat would have made the damage from a rear-end impact less for my son. Just glad I don't have to deal with driving here in HK.
- 03-27-2011, 09:02 AM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
My understanding is that in case of frontal crashes rf is safer (just look at the video). Most (severe) crashes are front facing. Rear end collisions are often less serious. Hence the preference to be rf, it's just a matter of movement, gravity and how to protect a baby's neck best.
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- 03-29-2011, 02:46 PM #11Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
- Hong Kong
Since we live in a city that doesn't appear to have any child restraint laws at all, I thought it was important to follow the regulations from somewhere else. To that end, I did do my research and found that Australian seat belt and child restraint laws are some of the toughest in the world; they were the first country to bring in compulsory seatbelt laws, and did so some 15 years before similar laws were adopted in the States, so I trust them when it comes to child restraint recommendations.
I did also look into the recommendations from the US and while it's great that the US is now being proactive about child safety in cars, it's a shame that the different laws in each state don't always apply to adults, nor, in some cases, children, and that the fines are so minimal that they're often ignored ("Ideally, all infants and children in all vehicles should be covered by enforceable safety belt laws or child restraint laws or both. But differences in the way the laws in various states are worded result in many occupants, especially children, being covered by neither law." - Highway Loss Data Inst.). I think you'll find that the Australian laws regarding infant restraints are similar to those in the US (that you mentioned in your post), but they are nationwide and the ramifications for breaking them are so steep that they are more often obeyed than not.
Secondly, I agree that the videos are terrifying and the evidence for rear-facing infant seats is compelling, and yes, the thought of my child being injured in an accident fills me with dread, but I do believe that facing forward is best for him. There's no way I would let my son face forward if I genuinely believed he wasn't safe. Here in HK the furthest we drive is a 10km stretch on South Lantau, where we're more likely to run into a buffalo than have a head-on collision. I'm not trying to be blase about it, but there are a lot of factors that go into making a decision like this, and those factors are different for every parent. An educated choice based on the needs of all members of a family, no matter how different from your own, is not ignorant or irresponsible (as you imply) just different.
This is a serious issue and I do think living here where there aren't any rules makes it tough, but I think it's definitely a matter of preference and personal belief, and if you have guidelines to follow whether they're American, Australian, European or whatever, you should be educated about them and make a choice that's right for you and your family. I personally believe that having my son where he can see us and we can see him is safer than having him rear-facing and causing an almighty ruckus - which would be so distracting, and distressing, that our risk of an accident would increase exponentially.
- 03-29-2011, 03:39 PM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- Tseung Kwan O, NT
Thank you BLWC, you expressed my feelings to MommyTo3's reply far more eloquently than I was able to, mine were a little more pointed which is why they are not on here.
Ultimately the decision about what safety recommendations you use are up to you, and people use this forum as a place to gather ideas to help them make decisions.
This forum is a place for requesting and sharing ideas, it is not a place to be self-righteous or to condemn those opinions/replies that you do not agree with.
- 03-29-2011, 07:10 PM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
Let me start by saying I have/had no itention to hurt anybody's feelings or come across harsh. My intention was solely to share the information I have found out and researched when I lived in the US because it did change the way I thought about it, and it may change other people's opinion. And yes, I do feel quite passionate about it, but this is my opinion only.
I am European (and a non-native speaker), and even though I think of EU car seat laws highly (it doesn't make them perfect), I was very surprised to learn about all the major differences between the (developed) countries and continents, and the amount people know about them. I am by no means bashing countries, I think we should learn from eachother, there is always room for improvement, regardless where we are from.
Breast feeding is better for babies. Now I didn't breast feed my children due to personal reasons, however, I am not denying it is better. I just chose not to. The same goes for this subject. Rear facing is safer for your child, I don't think there is any need to deny that, all research points into this direction, however you decide not to do it, which is your right as a parent. The fact is, it's still the safest option. Just like breast is best. We don't always do what is considered best, because we have many other factors to think about, we're all different.
I do agree that HK car seat laws are not great aka non-existing, which is a true shame. Most car accidents happen within a few miles from home, so even in HK we need to stay vigilant.
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