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Did you know that the mass of the head of a small child is about 25 of the body mass whereas the mass of the adult head is only 6 In a head on automobile crash the force on a childs neck and spine is so great that in an infant it can have deadly consequences This is why it is the law to keep infants rear facing until they are 1 year old AND weight at least 20 lbs There are new recommendations that suggest keeping infants rear facing until they reach the weight limit on their convertible car seat In a rear-facing seat the head neck and spine are all kept fully aligned and the child restraint absorbs the bulk of the crash force The difference is that in a head on collision an infants head would snap forward in a forward facing seat whereas if they are rear facing their entire body sustains the force of the crash therefore preventing their head from snapping forward and causing permanent damage to the spinal cord or even death There is no evidence to suggest that just because a childs feet hit the back of the seat while rear facing that they should be faced forward While there is no documentation of broken legs while rear facing the choice between a broken leg and a broken spine seems easy to decide The only limits set on a car seat to be turned around are by height and by weight In most convertible car seats the weight limit for rear facing is 30 33 or 35lbs The height limits vary by seats but most specify that the childs head be 1 inch below the top of the shell of the seat There are a few that allow the head to go over the top of the shell as long as the top of a childs ears are at or below the top of the shell On
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