“The Car Seat Lady” helped me

April 15, 2013


                           Wrong way                       Right Way


You may have heard about the recent car seat recommendations that say to keep your child in the rear facing position until at least age two, or until they hit the maximum weight or height requirements for that position.

My son Charlie is 20 months and because our car is quite old we could only put his seat in one position and frankly, this new requirement was causing me to have around the clock anxiety. One morning while reading my favorite parenting blog, I saw a great post about Dr. Alisa Baer aka ”The Car Seat Lady.” Dr. Baer is a practicing pediatrician who also happens to have a second job as an advocate and expert on keeping children safe while in their car seats. I wrote Dr. Baer a note explaining that our car was practically vintage and how my son was seated–forward facing behind the driver. To be honest, I thought she would write back saying that Charlie was in the right position for the make of the car we have. I was wrong.

Not only was he in the wrong position––as an only child, he should have been in the center which is 43 percent safer than the side, explained Dr. Baer. And should be rear facing.* See pictures of the “wrong” (left) and “right” (right) ways, below:

Since she doesn’t live too far away we made an appointment to meet over the weekend. With toddler and husband in tow we trekked over the bridge to meet with someone who, I have to say, is one of the most important people that I could possibly have met regarding my son’s safety. Dr. Baer gave me and my husband the advice, direction and help we so desperately needed. Dr. Baer is an encyclopedia of car seat safety knowledge; she is also a second-generation safety expert. If  you have any questions regarding this new recommendation please click here.  The site has everything you need to educate yourself as well as a great video demonstration about how this new recommendation works. She strongly recommends that every parent visit SeatCheck.org to find a trained technician in their area to get the installation checked-even if they are sure they have done it right.

*Dr. Baer’s advice is for those with two children, one who is forward facing, one who is rear facing. If your car seats can be installed securely side by side the forward facing child in the center and the rear facing is on the side.

Originally Posted on Motherburg, 2011, written by Donna Ladd