ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – A new study from Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan shows that parents are turning car seats to face forward too early.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids stay in rear-facing seats until age two. But the report shows almost three-fourths of parents switched their child to a forward-facing car seat before that age.

According to Dr. Michelle Macy,  a clinical lecturer of emergency medicine at UM Med School, research has shown that riding in a rear-facing car seat is up to five times safer for toddlers than riding in a forward-facing car seat.

Rear-facing car seats can prevent serious injury to children involved in front end motor vehicle collisions, Macy said in a media release.

“When a child is sitting in a rear-facing car seat, the stopping forces are spread out over their entire back. The back of the car seat is a cushion for the child,”  Macy said. “However, in the forward-facing position, all of the crash forces are focused on the points of the body that come into contact with the car seat straps. The child’s head and limbs keep moving forward, pulling against the seat.”

Macy said parents should contact a local car seat inspection station to make sure their child safety seat is being used properly. Visit and enter your zip code to find an inspection station close to your home.

Macy said inspection stations can also point you toward resources in your community that offer assistance to parents in need of obtaining proper car seats for their children.

– Read more on this in the full report at this link (.pdf format) –


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