Answers to commonly asked questions about rear-facing car safety seats for infants and premature babies.  Provided by Enumclaw child injury lawyer Andrew Kim.

Answers to Common Questions About Rear-Facing Car Seats

Healthychildren.org published this article regarding car safety seats for children, from infancy to teen years.  Here are some answers to common questions about rear-facing car seats:

What if my baby's feet touch the back of the vehicle seat?
Your child will be able to bend their legs easily, and will be comfortable in rear-facing car safety seats.  It is rare for children to sustain leg injuries while secured in a rear-facing car seat.

What do I do if my baby slouches down or to the side in their car safety seat?
You can put a rolled up blanket on either side of the infant, along with a small diaper or blanket between the crotch strap and the infant to secure your child,  DO NOT use any padding under or behind your infant, or add any kind of car safety seat insert unless it was a provided with your car safety seat or was made by the same manufacturer.

Can I adjust the straps when my baby is wearing thicker clothing, like in the winter?
Yes- just make sure the harnesses are still snug.  Once the thicker clothes are no longer needed, don't forget to tighten the straps.  It may be better to dress your child in thinner layers instead of bulky clothes and snowsuits, then use a blanket to tuck around your child over the buckled harness straps.

Are rear-facing convertable seats OK to use for preemies?
To make sure premature infants can ride safely while in a reclined position, they should be tested while still in the hospital.  There are crash-tested car beds available for babie who must lie flat during travel.  Those small infants that are able to safely ride in a reclined position usually fit better in rear-facing ONLY car safety seats.  In the event that you must use a convertable seat, opt for one that does not have a tray-shield harness- as the shields are usually too big and too far from the child's body to fit properly and the child's face could hit the shield in the event of a crash.


The Andrew Kim Law Firm is a personal injury firm located in downtown Bellevue.  Our Bellevue personal injury attorney has experience with personal injury claims all over Western Washington, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents.  Our firm is also experienced with child injury claims resulting from car accidents, dog bites and any other sort of injury accidents.  To speak to an attorney in a free consultation, call us at (425) 289-1990, (253) 682-2000 or toll free at (800) 636-3676.