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Britney rides again!

03/30/2006 at 12:17 PM ET

Britney Spears drove herself to a ballet class in Malibu, CA yesterday, and took baby Sean Preston along for the ride in her white PT Cruiser. Note that Sean was safely buckled into his carseat! You can watch the exciting adventure in this TMZ video.

Sarah’s note: Many pediatricians would recommend that Sean be in a backwards facing car seat until he is 20 pounds or 12 months, whichever comes last. What do you think, or what did you do with your kids? There’s an interesting post in the comments from a Pediatric Trauma nurse for those interested.



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Yonni on

Goodness. She can’t go anywhere w/o 1,000 cameras in her face. She handled it quite well. Sean Prestin is such a cute baby! He has no idea what is going on poor guy…Britney came out from the dance glass and seemed very friendly..

staceynsam on

Yonni…I was thinking the same thing! The poor girl can’t even go to dance class w/o being bothered by the paparazzi. I would be scared because they are constantly surrounding her and she can’t even get out onto the road. I would be scared for my child’s safety. But I guess when you are a star that is the lifestyle you have to learn to accept.
And in this video I don’t think she looks pregnant at all. Sean Preston is SOO cute!!

starlight_perfume on

I thought you weren’t supposed to face your baby frontwards in a carseat til he is at least 1 year and 20 lbs but her baby is and he’s only 6 months.

joy on

yeah that’s the law but not everyone abides by it. I know some people who switched their baby from infant seat to toddler and just faced the baby to the front. I think it’s more about weight rather then age.

As far as the paparazzi, yeah they’re annoying but just doing their job. When you become a celeb having people chase you 24/7 unfortunately comes with the job. I don’t feel bad for her. She wanted fame she got it.

cara81 on

I was just at the dr w/ the little girl I’m a nanny for. She is 2 days older than Sean Preston. I was talking to her dr about carseats. Since the little girl is over 20lbs (20.9lbs) and her feet are over the edge of the rear facing seat, the dr recommends a front facing one. She did say to make sure its a front facing one that is say its made for atleast 20lbs and higher. She stated that if her feet touch the back of the actual car seat, in case of a wreck her legs could be jammed into the seat and broken, so its safer for her to be facing forward.
So depending on Sean Prestons weight/ length combo, Britney might be right..

Tequilamonky on

Here in the UK I was told 9 months for a front facing carseat. However my daughter is extremely tall and by 6 months her head was sticking over the top of the carseat and therefore had no protection at all! I was advised to get a front facing one.

Sarah CBB Editor on

Yeah, there is wiggle room depending on the weight and length of the baby. But 6 months still seems too young to me. The carseats I have for the kids I nanny let me tilt the seat backwards a bit so their legs don’t touch, but they’re still backwards. I definitely understand about legs breaking in crashes if they do touch the seat.

I don’t know – I’ve had a 26 pound 9 monther in a forward facing seat and it was fine, especially since he had great head and trunk control, and the pediatrician okayed it because of his weight.

Maybe this is another thing when it’s all about what your doctor says, and either is okay in different situations.

krewcat on

My middle daughter was a big baby and by 6 months was 23 pounds and long….so I asked if I could switch. I was told that it had nothing really do do with weight or height as much as it has to do with neck muscles and that a younger baby just doesnt have strong ones. So if your in an accident the baby would suffer from whiplash or worse if forward facing. Id rather them break a leg in a crash than their neck. To me the rear facing was easier anyway and why take the chance (even if it is small).

I looked at the video 3 times and must have blinked cause I couldnt tell if he was forward or rear facing…LOL

And really, lets just all be glad he is in a car seat..:)

joy on

yes very true. Atleast he’s buckled safely into a seat.

I nanny for a little girl whose doctor specifically said to wait until she was 20lbs. However she’s 15 months old and just about 20lbs (she was a preemie also). We had to switch her over bc her feet were cramped. The carseat I had was not a rear facing seat so I had to switch her and once she could sit knowing she could see me in the car then her parents had to switch her also. I think every baby and every doctor is different. But like krewcat said, let’s just be happy britney is following the law this time.

LilBlueEyes on

As an Ped. RN in a Trauma Unit and former Paramedic this topic I really felt like joining. Age is the smallest factor in fitting a child in a car seat. Weight is important but also not the biggest factor unless the childs weight exceeds the weight limit on the car seat. Car seats are usually plastic so the weight limits is what that seat is designed to hold…No more. What we tell parents is that neck control and height are the two biggest factors to look for in using a car seat. Car seats all come with max weight and height requirements. THEY ARE SERIOUS AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE FOLLOWED!! The car seat is no longer safe for the child when either of those are exceeded. What you want to look for is head control in the child. Next is the childs feet. If they touch the back seat (I don’t mean just their toes slightly brushing the back seat.) it is time to put them front facing. Rear facing is no longer safe for that child or at least in that seat. I need to mention that all car seats are different if you still want them rear facing go out and look at seats. A lot of them have longer rear to feet lenght. It is not just broken feet we worry about with the childs feet touching the seat. It is spinal damage from the feet getting pushed on impact and damaging the spinal cord. Whiplash is a concern but can also happen with them rear facing. It all depends on where the impact is coming from. All children are built differently so all aspects need to be looked at. Some children get their height from long torsos. Some long legs. You have to use your judgment. Yes maybe your child has a long torso only and feet are not touching the back seat so you figure hey its ok….Have you takent he time to read to see what the height limit is? There are many things to look at. It will almost never be the combo package and once one thing is exceeded please find a new car seat that properly fits them. I know car seats can be expensive but cheaper than that hospital bill or funeral cost. I have seem some horrific things in my life time with car accidents and children so I feel any chance I may have to educate the public on car seat safety is one way I can help reduce the numbers of unneccessary injurys or deaths. I know how nice and easy those infant carriers are but please don’t keep your child in those because it is easier for you. There are other products to help when you no longer have those like high seat and cart covers. I see children in those all the time that are way way way too big to be in them and I can’t help but feel bad for the child. All three of my children were out of them before 6 months. Both my boys are 4 1/2 months. None of them were rear facing after 10 months. Each child is different so please follow those instruction books the seats come with and store them in your glove boxes in the car. I know months later it is hard to remember all the specs. on the seat. Sorry this post was so long but I really felt it important to bring all this up. Any questions please post them and I will be happy to respond!!

Sarah CBB Editor on

Thank you so much for posting! Some information you just don’t find in the parenting and child development books, so I love when people with more experience than most post things like this.

Taryn on

Actually rearfacing for as long as possible even if the feet are touching the back of the seat is safer. There has never been any documented cases of a rearfacing baby breaking it’s legs because of them touching the back of the seat of a car in an accident. In Sweden(I have a friend who lives there) they keep their children rearfacing until they at least 3 years old but the norm is more like 5-6 years old. In fact you can’t even purchase a seat that doesn’t rearface for a child under 3, they just don’t exist. If rearfacing with the feet touching the back of the seat were so dangerous the Swedish (who are known for being extra safe) certainly wouldn’t produce only rear facing seats for children under the age if 3 years. By the time children in Sweden are forward facing their legs have been touching the seat back for quite a long time.
Age is actually a very important factor as the bones in the neck don’t harden until around age 1 and anytime before then they are at risk of serious neck injuries.
My mother in law is normally a Pediatric ICU nurse but one night she was working the ER when they brought in almost an entire family from a car accident. I say almost because there was a DOA at the scene, a 6 month old baby girl. She had been forward facing and had been decapitated by the force of the crash on her immature neck. The rest of the family had very minor injuries. My mother in law has also seen children with broken necks, and serious injuries to the neck from forward facing too soon. I kept my son rear facing until he was 18 months, he outgrew his infant seat at 3 months old, I would have done it longer but he outgrew the seat rear facing at that time by height, which was his head was within one onch of the plastic shell of the car seat. His feet did touch the back of the seat but he was more than happy to just cross his legs and he was comfortable that way. I do agree that using infant seats after the child has outgrown them is very dangerous, my mother in law has a few horror stories about those as well, but using a convertible seat until the child either reaches the height limit of the seat for rear facing, that I mentioned earlier or until they reach the weight limit on the seat for rear facing is a lot safer. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually now recommends leaving children rear facing until they reach the rear facing limits of their car seat. They have also stated that the child’s legs touching the back of the seat is not dangerous.
Sorry this is so long but I had to post this due to the incorrect information provided by the above poster, which could cause serious injury or death to a child if they were to be followed. If you have any questions or want reputable websites to backup what I have said I will be more than happy to answer the questions and provide the websites.

Kat_Momof3 on

Rearfacing is always safest… ideally, everyone would rearface, but you can’t in order to drive.

My daughter, who just turned 2, was not turned ff until two weeks before her 2nd birthday, which was when she hit 35lbs.

I wish she could have rearfaced longer, but it was not possible.

children under 2yrs old are 4x more likely to die or be severely injured when forward facing in a crash. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868/

there is no risk to the legs by keeping a child rearfacing.

in fact, the American Academy of pediatrics urges us to do so… and it has been stated that way in baby magazines this year.

Convertible carseats all rearface to at least 30lbs, and we should rearface our children as long as possible.

Evenflo and Graco to 30lbs or until head is 1″ below top of shell.

Britax to 33lbs… no standing height limit

Cosco is to 35lbs or until head is 1″ below top of shell.

In countries where they turn babies earlier, like the UK… top tethering is Mandatory… and this is key, as it reduces head excursion.

people should do the research and get info from educated child passenger safety technicians, not their pediatrician or nurse.

Kat

cleach on

First of all, anybody who is not trained as a certified child passenger technician should not be giving advice on carseats. This includes doctors and pediatricians, unless they are certified. For the record, I am a CPST, so I thought I would add my 2 cents.

With that said. The advice to turn a child forward facing when the feet touch the vehicle seat is WRONG. Children should ride rear facing until at least 1 year AND 20lb. Rearfacing is safer, plain and simple. Believe it or not, it is not as uncomfortable as it looks for babies whose feet touch the back of the seat. My 18month old daughter is still rear facing, she’s 22lb. And she will continue to be rearfacing until she reaches the limits of her seat (either by weight, or when there is less than 1″ of hard plastic above her head). She loves stretching her feet out and resting them up high on the back of the seat :)

But on to my point. Babies are much more likely to sustain neck and spinal injuries when they are facing forward. As for the fear of leg injuries — well, would you rather your child have broken legs or a broken neck? Besides, there have been NO (read: ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH) documented cases of a child having broken or crushed legs from being rearfacing.

Here is a VERY informative link that explains the benefits of rearfacing, and even adds a few statistics. Toward the bottom is a couple crash test videos. One shows what happens to a child when forward facing, the other shows the same child (or crash test dummy) in the same carseat riding rear facing. (notice this simulates an older child in the carseat, bent knees, etc). View those videos and then tell me which one you’d rather your child go through in the event of a crash.

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx

Another argument I have heard in favor of turning a child rearfacing is that “well, the LAW says that I can, so it must be safe”. Well, its not against the law to drink and smoke when you’re pregnant either, but that doesnt mean its safe. Many states are so behind the times with their carseat laws.

Anyways, so there you have it. Please, if you have ANY questions regarding carseats, need help installing your carseat, or anything else relating to child passenger safety, speak to a certified child passenger safety technician.

Here are a couple links that can help you find a tech or a fit site/checkup event in your area:

http://www.seatcheck.org/

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/contacts/Index.cfm

http://www.usa.safekids.org/state_display.cfm

Child Passenger Safety Technician on

With all due respect, the nurse in these comments is talking out her butt.

The other techs who have posted have covered everything but I just wanted to reiterate that if you are not a certified child passenger safety technician you should NOT give out advice on carseats.

Go through the certification classes, learn the facts before you endanger a child’s life. Or how at least refer patients to someone educated on the subject.

I mean seriously. You have taken anatomy and physiology, nursie. Do you honestly believe that a crash strong enough to break legs in a rearfacing crash won’t snap necks if the child is forward facing? Which would you like to see in your PICU? Broken legs or a broken neck?

cleach on

Ok, just because there is SO much wrong information in this post. Sorry, but I am going to pick this apart because I hate to see misinformation being given out. Especially by somebody who has NO training in carseat safety.

–Age is the smallest factor in fitting a child in a car seat. Weight is important but also not the biggest factor unless the childs weight exceeds the weight limit on the car seat–

There is no one factor in fitting a child into a carseat. It is a combination of ALL of those factors.

–What we tell parents is that neck control and height are the two biggest factors to look for in using a car seat.–

What you need to be telling parents is that you are not trained, and that they need to see a CERTIFIED technician for their advice. Neck control has NOTHING to do with it. Except when you are considering the recline of a rearfacing seat. Babies with little to no neck control need to be more reclined. Height is just as much a factor as weight and age.

–Next is the childs feet. If they touch the back seat (I don’t mean just their toes slightly brushing the back seat.) it is time to put them front facing Rear facing is no longer safe for that child or at least in that seat.–

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That right there could be VERY Deadly “advice”. As I said in my previous post, there have been NO documented cases of children having broken or crushed legs while rearfacing. Your child can continue to ride rear facing until he exceeds the REAR FACING weight limits (usually 30-35lb) or until there is less than 1″ of plastic shell above his head, whichever comes first. Not to mention, if the feet touching the back of the seat was such a factor, then how do you explain the lower death rate among children in the European countries who rear face until they are at least 3-5 years old? Surely their feet are well beyond “touching the seat”, and to the point of being crossed.

–It is not just broken feet we worry about with the childs feet touching the seat. It is spinal damage from the feet getting pushed on impact and damaging the spinal cord. Whiplash is a concern but can also happen with them rear facing. It all depends on where the impact is coming from–

Again, you dont need to worry about broken feet. And spinal damage from feet getting pushed on?? Ok, where did you pull that out of? What about the neck/spinal injury from being forward facing? Frontal impact is the MOST common type of crash, and having a ff child will GREATLY increase the chance of spinal injury. Personally, I’d rather risk (although there is VERY minimal risk) broken legs than a broken neck any day.

–Some children get their height from long torsos. Some long legs. You have to use your judgment. Yes maybe your child has a long torso only and feet are not touching the back seat so you figure hey its ok….Have you takent he time to read to see what the height limit is?–

This is why we (the CERTIFIED child passenger safety technicians) tell the parents that the height rule is just a guideline. Rearfacing, shoulders need to be at or above the harness slots. And there has to be at least 1″ of shell above their head. The infant seat I used for my daughters had a height limit of 26″, but they didnt outgrow the seat by height until they were about 27-28″.

–I know car seats can be expensive but cheaper than that hospital bill or funeral cost.–

This is a very good point. Too bad this point is being made to encourage dangerous, possibly deadly advice from somebody who has NO clue what they’re talking about.

–I have seem some horrific things in my life time with car accidents and children so I feel any chance I may have to educate the public on car seat safety is one way I can help reduce the numbers of unneccessary injurys or deaths.–

Please, do yourself and all of your patients a favor. STOP giving “advice”. Please, if you want to help people, take a CPST course and become certified. Until then, you are NOT qualified to give out carseat advice. This “advice” you are giving is doing just the opposite of what you intend for it to do.

–None of them were rear facing after 10 months.–

Not only is this dangerous, but it is against the law in most states.

–Any questions please post them and I will be happy to respond!!–

No, if anybody has any questions, *I* will be happy to respond with CORRECT information.

Danielle, CBB Editor on

Cleach- Anya is starting to top out the infant car seat (Peg Perego Prima Viaggio) and we are starting to shop for a convertible seat- either Britax or Radian). Should we keep her in the infant car seat for as long as possible? Is it any safer than a rear-facing convertible seat?

cleach on

Check how high she goes in the carseat. If there is less than 1″ of hard plastic shell above her head (this is easier to check if you lay her in it without the cover, the cover makes it look like there is more space than there really is), or if he weight exceeds the weight limit, then she needs to be moved to a rear facing convertible seat.

Generally infant seats ARE safer, especially for newborns and small babies. This is because the shape and design of the infant carries tend to fit small babies better than the larger convertible carseats. Once they get to the point of outgrowing an infant seat, a rear facing convertible carseat is perfectly fine. I dont have any experience with the Radian (I’ve never worked with one), but I do have experience with the Britax seats and I LOVE them. :)

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