Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Pediatrician Knows About My Blog.

I can't believe I forgot to tell my best friend, The Internet!

I totally forgot about it, until someone left me this comment on Olivia's 15 Month Update:

Tell me, so I can live vicariously through you: have you gotten the ok to turn Olivia to forward facing now that she's met that magical threshold? Is it amazing? We have another three months to go probably before we can spin E around (she gains a pound every 3 months, roughly). I cannot wait.
And then I remembered how I died at the Pediatrician's Office during Olivia's appointment.  Here is a possibly exaggerated recount of the situation:

Pediatrician: Have you turned her carseat forward yet?

Me: No, am afwaid for mah itty bitty baybee.  Hold me?

Pediatrician: Good!  Keep her rear facing, as long as possible.

Me: I plan to, I have seen some really scary articles and videos about forward facing too soon.  Hold me?

Pediatrician: Videos?  I'll have to look for those.  I found your blog, by the way.

Me: No.you.did.not.

Pediatrician: Yes, I really did.

Me: * dies *  I'm not sure why I find that to be embarrassing!

Pediatrician: A patient came to see us and said she found us through your blog, so I checked it out. I really enjoyed reading it!

Me: Hold me?

Pediatrician: No. Stop asking.

Me: Sorry.

So, yeah. That happened. I know that this blog is public (very public) and I'm pretty sure that everyone I know, knows about it.  I don't post anything that I wouldn't want someone to know.  But sometimes?  When someone tells me they read my blog?  I get a wave of uh-oh-what-have-I-done panic.  Like, OMG the pediatrician knows all about my vagina behind my back and that would be creepy except that I want people to read my blog and it is on the Internet so that's not really behind my back and  also perhaps I should stop writing about my vagina if I don't want people to read it, the end.

(Don't worry, you all know that I have to tell vagina stories.  It makes me feel pretty and popular.)

So anyway, I forgot that I wanted to post the rear facing video on my blog until yesterday.  For the pediatrician, who most certainly has no interest in holding me but I don't hold that against her.

So.  Olivia is rear-facing, and will be until she reaches the rear-facing limit of her seat.  I was excited for her to finally reach 20 pounds, but it wasn't because I could turn her seat - it was because she would fit in the 12-18 month Baby Gap sizes.  Because I'm deep and sensible like that.


One Year Ago: Three Months; Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
Two Years Ago: Conceive Magazine


Mrs. Alex P said...

I saw this video a few months ago and i am so glad that i did. I have shared it with everyone i know that has little ones. It kills me to see SO MANY people turn their kids car seat around before they are even one! We are waiting as long as possible!

Dana said...

Anyone who watches this video and STILL turns their kid around before age 1 or 20 lbs is a fucking moron. Thanks for sharing it with the world! :)

k said...

We kept ours rear facing as long as we could. Our son outgrew the limit and our daughter was constantly carsick (technically at 4 she's small enough to still be RF). My nephew was turned around at 19 pounds and like 10 months old and I FLIPPED OUT. I sent my brother this video. Didn't change their minds. I just don't get it.

Thomas said...

I love your blog, but am pretty much a lurker. The rear-facing thing has brought me out of lurkdom to say amen--my son is 3, and weighs about 31 lbs. He will be rear-facing until he reaches the weight limit (which may be in middle school); I'm holding out for the last ounce.

And amen on the Baby Gap sizing. Screw walking--going up a size is a REAL milestone.


lis said...

Well I'm just glad you never called the good doctor a twatwaffle. Score!

Candice said...

We kept Graham rear facing for as long as possible, 1.5 I think. He's really tall, so eventually he just looked way too uncomfortable.

Just me said...

I just choked on my wine reading this post.

I keep coming back because you always make me laugh. :)

EB said...

Chalk another one up for "Things I didn't know before having kids and stalking mommy blogs." Thanks for the scary video. It made me vomit in fear a little bit. Chances are if I see a person with a prematurely facing baybee, I will probably vomit in fear all over them too.

Corie said...

We just took a baby care class this weekend, and the nurse who taught the class said that Illinois recently passed a law that requires that chldren stay rear-facing until the age of 2. I haven't verified that yet (my first is due in 6 weeks, so I've got a while before I have to worry about it) but it makes SO much sense. I hope it's enforced, if it really is the new law!! Kids not being in safety seats is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Anonymous said...

This is good advice UNLESS as in my nephew's case your child learns to move the seat. He was in a licensed seat we had installed by our fire department and at six months he could kick the seat and wiggle it enough that he could knock it over. He wasn't a year old when we switched him to front facing, but it was safest in his case. Also, we live in Illinois and it was the police station that told us to switch him, so two can't be the law.

Beverley said...

I am going to have Lucy rear facing as long as possible. She went through a phase at ab out 12-14 months where she screamed like crazy in the carseat and I'm sure she would have loved to be front facing but, in all honesty, her safety is #1. Now she is perfectly happy with rear facing (and she is tall too). Give her a book and a baby and my girl is good to go.

Bugaboo said...

I'm all about the rear facing seat. Once my kid grows out of the infant carrier, I'm switching to a convertible car seat and still keeping it rear facing. Someone needs to invent a car with a rear facing back seat. That would probably save lots of lives.

Strawberry said...

I knew it was important to leave them rear-facing for as long as possible, but seeing the crashes in the video REALLY drives that message home. All new parents should have to watch it...they should show it in every birth and/or infant safety class.

uncomplicateme said...

Thank you thank you for posting that. B is also rear-facing and will stay that way until he hits 35 lbs... which as you know I breed monster baybees, so we only have 8 pounds to go, woo! :) In all seriousness though, it's so much safer to be rear facing and I'm glad Miss O is safe and sound! :)

Carol said...

Thanks for the video, I am now sick to my stomach and need to read about my seat. My kid is 21 months and 30 pounds, so IDK.

AND yes, when I hear people in real life saying they've read my blog...I always think, SHIT what have I written! :) It would be totally weird to have someone like my pedi say she follows me.

Crossed Fingers said...

Minus that video - your post cracked me up. I love that you're excited about her being able to wear new clothes. haha.

Thanks for the heads up on rear facing - not a parent yet but great to know for the future!

HereWeGoAJen said...

The Graco MyRide65 can be rear facing until 40 pounds. (And forward facing until 65 pounds. And I was like in seventh grade when I weighed 65 pounds.) We've got that one and Elizabeth is going to be rear facing until she's 40 pounds.

Kristin said...

You talking about your lady business makes me feel better about mine being turned inside out, thanks for that.

As for the seat thing, people are stupid, I have a SIL (and her stupid husband) both having of the PhD couldn't even install the seat correctly or even measure out formula correctly either.

It's more important for Miss O to be looking of the cuteness than to be facing forward...Baby Gap is the best. I am even trying to get a weekend job there just for the 50% off ok? Yes I am a BG whore and not ashamed of it...

Can I just say that I did hold you but not do it? Thanx!

kimbosue said...

I have posted that video and a few others in FB for all to see. I even acted like the car seat Nazi and commented on soneone's pic of her baby girl in her "big girl seat" facing FORWARD.

Me: concerned for her baby's life
her: we are fine with it.

Fine with watching your daughter become decapitated?


Rebecca said...

I think that car seats should be made with a head harness or something....sort of a strap that goes across the forehead to keep their little heads in place, good idea?

Christina said...

I plan on keeping A rear facing for a while too. She's very close to the 20 pound mark and not even 7 months old.

Max's Mommy said...

Ah!! Thank you! This is something that nobody talks about, but is so important! My son Max is 18 months next week, and is still rear facing. It annoys me when people ask why haven't I turned him yet. I have a friend who turned her son at SIX MONTHS because "he just cried the other way" WTF?! It's scary to think about, really.

Poppy said...

My granddaughter will be 3 in July and she weighs 25 lbs. (Yeah, she's a peanut...a healthy peanut) and she is still rear facing in her parents cars and in mine when she's with me. My son is a firefighter/paramedic and he's shared some really horrible stories with me about small children in car seats. Keeping Grace rear facing for as long as she can/will sit that way seems to be the best thing to us. We'll only have one Grace and she's way too precious to take any chances with.

And for anyone here who has friends who are turning their kids around too early...show them this video.

Thanks for sharing, Jen.

* I had to laugh when I read your pediatrician reads your blog! hee

Paranoid said...

I've seen that video before and I agree the footage is startling. But what the video doesn't provide (aside from any info on the speed/impact of those crash tests) is any statistics on (a) how likely it is that you'll get into the kind of crash where rear-facing will matter, and/or (b) the relative chances of serious injury for forward vs. rear-facing. I mean, we've all heard the "5X SAFER OMG!" thing, but no actual numbers that tell us about 5x what? And trust, me, I have spent hours of my life searching for that info.

IN the absence of any real information, I'll be turning E forward the second she cracks 20 pounds (probably when she's 18 months). By doing so, am I increasing the chance of her getting hurt in a crash from "tiny" to "slightly less tiny?" Yeah, probably. But the chance of E screaming her head off because she's miserable in the car is 100%. And as between everyday sanity and the infinitismal risk that we'll get into an accident where the way she faces is important, I choose sanity.

FWIW, E's pediatrician seems remarkably relaxed on this issue. He's definitely of the "turn 'em as soon as they crack 20" camp.

Laura said...

I too plan on keeping my Kate rear facing until she reaches the rear-facing limit on her seat. She doesn't mind it, so why not? Can't believe your pedi found your blog! Awesome.

Courtney said...

First off, you crack me up. Fo' rizzle.

As a Paramedic, I have seen many incidents where a child screaming facing backward would have saved his/her life. I know first hand how difficult it is to deal with a screaming kid in the back, but really? That "infinitismal risk" is a HUGE one when it comes to my child's life. I've had to come up with some different ideas to keep my baby entertained and calm while driving, so that I could keep my sanity...and I'll keep doing that in order to keep my child safe.

Also, IF a car seat is installed in a correct way, a 6mth old is not going to have enough power to knock it over. Just b/c they are a FF or PO does not mean they did it the right way. And I can not imagine a PO, with public safety in their job description, advising anyone to turn their child forward at that young of an age. Have it reinstalled? Yes.

A pp commented the idea of having a way to secure the head to the seat...honestly, I understand the thinking. It made sense to me at first. However, even with the head secured, there is still a chance of snapping the neck if the body moves with enough force.

I don't mean any ill-feelings to anyone on here, but please, as a mom and a Paramedic, be creative to get your child to remain rear facing as long as possible and still keep your sanity. Again, even though the video did not give statistics, they are out there I'm sure. If nothing else, I could give stats on what I've seen. It's sad when I pull up on seen, go to a vehicle where mom is injured and the baby is dead...harsh, but true...and they were forward facing. Unfortunately, with a traumatic injury such as a car accident, a patient is not likely to survive major internal injury to arrive at the ER in time. They will bleed out internally before they can get there. No amount of medical supplies and training in the world could save them...unless a surgeon with all of his supplies just "happens" to be available and ready to go at the time of the accident.

Worth it? I think not.

On the other hand, I have been on plenty of scenes, when mom is injured and baby is okay b/c they were properly fastened in a rear facing seat. That is a fact. It's not your driving you have to worry about...it's everyone else's. Summer is here and ppl get crazier with the risks they take with driving just b/c it's sunny outside.

As an added note, just b/c they are rear facing doesn't mean they are safe...they need to be fastened in correctly as well. Every.single.time.

*Stepping off soap box*

My son will be 1 next week. He has a myride65 as well, that rear faces up to 40lbs and fwd faces up to 65.

Laurel said...

Courtney, you are awesome. Thank you for your post, hard as it is to read. I hate to see someone shrug off the evidence that's pretty clear. I get my car seats checked regularly by certified technicians (usually police officers) and they always tell me how important it is to keep rear-facing as long as possible, as does my pediatrician.

I went rear-facing as long as possible, until about 2.5, I think it was. Wanted to throw out there that weight isn't the only limiting factor. The child does need to be turned front-facing when s/he exceeds a certain height. My son didn't exceed the weight limit but became too tall at some point.

I'd encourage everyone out there to get checked up with their local technicians every six months to a year. There are all kinds of weird peculiarities and oddities about installation that are not at all covered in the car seat guides. Every time I go I learn something I didn't know, and despite trying pretty hard, I have never installed my car seats right the first time (and sometimes, the second time).

Paranoid said...

"I hate to see someone shrug off the evidence that's pretty clear."

Laurel, with all due respect, the point of my post is that there is no clear evidence at all! Yes, we have anecdotes. Yes, we have scary youtube videos. Yes, we have hysterical press releases screaming about the HORRIBLE DANGER!! BUY THIS (very expensive new product) NOW!!! But as has been said so many times, anecdotes aren't data. And nobody seems to be interested in providing any actual information about the risks involved in having kids in cars and in various positions. By that I mean actual numbers stating exactly how often this kind of accident occurs and exactly how often forward vs. rear facing matters.

I take my kids' safety quite seriously. And when these new guidelines about extended rear-facing were released (not coincidentally, right around the same time most car seat manufacturers released seats meant to accommodate high schoolers), I searched for the information to back up the alarming press releases. Every time I run across an article about car seats, I go back and spend another hour or so fruitlessly searching for that information, just in case I missed something. But I have never, ever found a single shred of data beyond the anecdotal booga-booga stuff.

And if we're going to take a few random stories as gospel evidence that we should all run out and spend hundreds of dollars on new carseats and keep our kids rear-facing until their legs can hang over the seat back, then why stop there? Why not push for a rule that kids under a certain age should be forbidden from riding in cars at all except for emergencies or doctor's visits? After all, where does any kid really need to go before they're school-aged? Sure, it would be inconvenient to hire a babysitter every time you need to leave the house, but isn't your kids' safety worth a little inconvenience?

If someone knows where I can find the kind of data I'm talking about, I would consider it with gratitude. I'm absolutely open to changing my mind on this issue. But so far, I've seen nothing.

Negative Nelly said...

Scared to death someone is going to find my blog (and I'm only 2 posts in two days in). Slowly working up to twatwaffle stories on my blog....and I've got a heckovalota twatwaffles in my life.

-K said...

Our daughter is still rear facing and she's almost two but I know that Sweden keeps them rear facing till five. Love your blog!


Heather said...

Our boys turned 1 year over the weekend and they are still rear-facing. Our infant carriers go to 35 lbs and Tommy is currently almost 21lbs and Liam is almost 18lbs. Yes, Liam is little. Actually he has to followup with the ped in a month. She wants to see him get back on the growth charts. He needs to have one bottle of pediasure every day for the next month and try to bring up his weight. Anyway, I'm trying to hold out for them both to turn at the same time and yes, I agree. I don't want to turn them too soon.

Erin said...

Heyyy, more writey!! Um-kay? It's been like weeks you know. Well, maybe only one, but whatev.

Miss Tori said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've shared it on my blog as well, giving you credit for bringing it to my attention to share with my mommy friends.

Cara Russell said...

We just made the jump to a forward facing car seat with our daughter. We waited as long as possible because we know it's much safer, but we are glad to be able to see her face in the rearview mirror now. Thanks for spreading the word about this!