Rear-Facing Seats Still Important, Consumer Reports Says

car safety injury preventionWhen it comes to car and child safety, few parents take the time to listen to what experts have to say. To remedy this issue and urge parents to stay alert to important details, Consumer Reports is urging consumers to remember some important facts about safety seats, especially rear-facing ones.

According to the consumer watchdog group, a study released recently appears to be sending the wrong signals to parents.

To experts, the study appears to be focusing only on a small piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.

What parents should never ignore is that car safety seats are the safest for children who are very young. Changing to a forward-facing seat before the time is right could expose your child to serious safety risks.

According to the group, researchers compared the performance of several child seat installation methods including the use of the vehicle’s seat belt and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for Children). The methods were tested in simulated rear-end crashes to help researchers understand how well they help to protect the child.

Due to how the media covered the study, many parents may end up believing that the rear-facing car seats are not as safe as the forward-facing seats.

Experts say that while many reports say that rear-facing seats may expose children to head injury in rear-ending accidents, the study shows that that’s only the case when the seat is being secured with the LATCH system. Rear-facing seats installed with the vehicle’s seat belt did not experience the same results.

For parents, this means one thing: do not move your child to the forward-facing car seat prematurely. Instead of looking at the results of this result as a sign that the type of the car seat is not safe, look at the study as a sign that the LATCH system may not be the best one when it comes to installing rear-facing seats.

Experts also urge parents to remember that fitting the vehicle correctly is essential securing your child at all times. And while the latest study does not match the results of studies carried out by Consumer Reports, parents are urged to remember that what matters is that the seat is correctly installed. So following the car seat’s instructions or consulting with a certified car seat expert should be a priority.

For more on what Consumer Reports is saying about rear-facing car safety seats, follow this link.

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