Pediatrician - New Port Richey
2044 Trinity Oaks Boulevard Suite 235
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 375-5437

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Posts for category: Child Passenger Safety

June 16, 2016
Tags: car seats  

You may have seen Facebook friends posting about it and your pediatrician may have recommended it, but what’s the deal with extended rear-facing? Won’t their legs get too long? Won’t it look funny? What is the benefit?

It is 5000% safer to rear-face than forward-face! As you can see in this video of 12-month-old crash test dummies engaged in a frontal collision (the most common kind of accident), the rear-facing dummy bears down with the collision while the forward-facing dummy’s body is fiercely forced headfirst with the crash.  This poses a serious problem as the cervical spine is not fully developed in small children. Forward motion at that velocity often results in serious injury, including paralysis or much worse1. It is as simple as that – it’s recommended because it is proven to be safer!

Convertible car seats are the seats used for extended rear-facing. They can both rear-face or forward-face and are the standard “next step” from an infant-only car seat. Most convertibles rear-face up to 40lbs and forward-face up to 65lbs, but it's important to check the manuals. All brands and models of seats are very different!

It is OK for their legs to touch the vehicle seat! Afterall, it's OK for our adult legs to touch the floors of our cars. While we would never want our babies to endure any sort of injury, it is much more important to protect the head and neck from crash impacts and rear-facing does just that. Not to mention, studies have shown that children sustain more leg injuries when forward-facing2.

Still, I understand that leg room is a concern for many parents and there are options. As seen below, my daughter often crosses her legs in the car. It is a great way to stay relaxed and secure, but not necessary for protection.

Lila in her Graco Nextfit weighing 38lb and 38.5 inches. We still fit for now!

Her feet touch the back of the vehicle seat and that's OK.

Still comfortable enough to take naps with a few favorite friends.

There are also car seats on the market that have these concerns in mind. Recently Graco released their Extend2fit model, a budget-friendly convertible car seat that rear-faces until 50lbs and offers more legroom with an extender. This is great for larger toddlers and any parents who may feel concerns about comfort.

Graco Extend2fit

It might look funny, but motor vehicle accidents are still the leading cause of death in children under 13 and extended rear-facing is proven to keep littles ones safer. It might not be the norm now, but as research continues to show the safety benefits, it will certainly be soon. 

“This just doesn’t work for us.” All kids are different and there are situations where parents feel forward-facing before 2-years-old is the safest travel option – motion sickness or excessive crying are the top reasons I hear of parents turning their tots around early. That’s OK! I wholly agree that you know what is best for your child and only hope to ensure the safest transportation conditions within your comfort zone. It is only my mission to get children rear-facing as long as possible.

If you have any questions about rear-facing or car seats, absolutely comment or call our office. I'm always here to answer your questions! 

Kindest regards,
Kasondra Arone-Miller, CPST



1. Narayan Yoganandan, PhD, Frank A. Pintar, PhD, and Sean M. Lew, MD.  Ann Adv Automot Med. 2011; 55: 159–168. 
2. Arbogast KB, et al. Injuries to children in forward facing child restraints. Annu Proc Assoc Adv Automot Med. 2002; 46: 213-30.

By Kasondra, CPST
November 10, 2015
Tags: cpst   car seat   Safety  

Hi everyone! 

I recently attended a Child Passenger Safety Technician course all about car seats and installation. This means I have a certification from Safekids Worldwide and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help caregivers install car and booster seats.

This is super important because car accidents remain a leading cause of death in children under 12-years-old. Properly restraining children in their safety seats is the best way to prevent serious injuries in the event of a car accident, and unfortunately, Florida was at a 
93% misuse rate in 2014. This means that 93% of car seats inspected were installed incorrectly.

In this blog, I wanted to share some of the things I learn:

·        Rear-facing is encouraged as long as possible, and AT LEAST until 2-years of age as rear-facing children at five times safer than forward-facing children.

·        Car seats do expire.

·        Chest clips should always be at the chest – this is important because a chest clip that is too high can interfere with the child’s airway, but a chest clip too low could cause internal injuries in an accident.

·        Most cars do not have lower anchors in the middle passenger seat and are installed using the LATCH system anyway. It is one of the most common installation errors.

·        Another common installation error is using both lower anchors and a seatbelt.​

·        The most important thing to know is that the right car seat is one that fits in your car, fits the child, and you can install correctly every time. Cost does not matter. All car seats are supposed to meet the same safety standards, but have different sizes and features.

I also wanted to share this helpful link for anyone who might have questions about what car seat is best for their child. The Child Safety Ease of Use Ratings are very helpful in selecting a car seat. 

Above all, I wanted to share that on November 17th we are hosting a Car Seat Inspection Event and really encourage anyone who has passenger questions to make an appointment! Please call us at (727) 375-5437 to schedule your inspection. 

Look forward to helping with you car seat needs, 
Kasondra, CPST
ID: T724741




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