Car Seats, the New Fuel in the Mommy Wars
There’s a new hot topic that is flaming the fires in the mommy wars these days and it has nothing to do with how you feed your child. The AAP recently released new policy recommendations that infants and toddlers stay rear facing until at least 2 years of age, and recommended lap adjusting boosters for children until the are 4’9” or 8-12 years old.
Within hours of the story breaking, Twitter was a buzz with moms praising or lamenting the decision. There were pictures posted of children 2 and older rear facing, statements made like “I’ll happily take a broken leg over a broken spine”. On the other side were the parents bemoaning the recommendation as more rules to remember and follow, and "big brother" telling them how to parent.
These are just recommendations, not laws, and they are not new. The study cited was done in 2007. If you have your car seat professionally installed they have probably told you this already, I was told when I had my car seats installed almost 3 years ago. What I found surprising is how quick to judgment and harsh the judgment was on parents who weren’t jumping for joy at the new regulations. A doctor in one article is quoted as telling patients: ‘If you really want to make a stupid decision for your child, you can do it, but I’m not going to help you.’
It’s just one more way mothers are being pitted against one another. To have a doctor in a national news source calling parents’ decisions stupid? That’s too much. It takes out of the conversation room for exceptions and different circumstance. Sometimes the best recommendation for your child is not to follow the general recommendations. Take for instance the parent of a child who has a history of seizures. That parent was told by a pediatric neurologist to have them face forward so they could respond quicker if a seizure happened in the car. What about the parent of a child who is exceptionally tall or overweight and can’t physically use a rear facing seat because there is not one on the market big enough? Do these parents deserve to be called stupid and chastised across social media?Continued on the next page