Once upon a time, we used to chuck the kiddies in the back of the beltless Buick, light up a whole pack of camels, chug Crown Royal from a flask, and drive off to Grandma’s house without a second thought. Or a first thought, actually. That’s how drunk we were. Sometimes we’d even forget the kids and the car, and just pass out in the oil puddle on the floor of the garage. Cuz that’s how parenting was done back when men were men, and women did all the work we didn’t want to.
Now, however, we know better. We’ve stopped drinking and driving and smoking, and we wear seat belts all the time, even when we leave the car, even when we’re out camping and we have to go swimming in mountain lakes—even then we’re still wearing our seatbelts, and we make damn sure our kids are too.
And still, we’re putting them in danger, because, as the Times learns today, we’ve been facing their carseats forward too fucking early:
Toddlers are usually switched from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats right after their first birthday — an event many parents may celebrate as a kind of milestone.
But in a new policy statement, the nation’s leading pediatricians’ group says that is a year too soon.
The advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, issued Monday, is based primarily on a 2007 University of Virginia study finding that children under 2 are 75 percent less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are facing the rear.
Why? Why are you putting your child in such clear, indisputable danger? Is it because you had no idea this was dangerous? Or is it … something else:
“A lot of parents consider turning the car seat around as another developmental milestone that shows how brilliant and advanced their child is,” [Debbi Baer, a labor and delivery nurse in Baltimore who has been a car safety advocate for children for more than 30 years] said, “and they don’t realize that it’s making their child less safe.”
You. You bastard. You heartless prick. You are killing your children! Now turn that damn seat around, hand your toddler your iPhone, and get back on the road.