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  1. #1
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward (edited)

    All the safety experts say it's safest for a child to rear face as their spine is not strong enough to protect the spinal cord if they are forward facing. It's not strong enough because the vertebrae are in pieces joined by cartilage. The vertebral arch has not fused into a complete circle of bone, which will enclose and protect the spinal cord.

    I'm studying Human Osteology, human bones, for archaeology, and I have to learn about skeletal development. This picture is in my textbook, (White, T. Human Osteology, 2000)the classic text for this subject.

    In the first picture there is a cervical vertebrae for a one-year old (left), and beside it a cervical vertebrae for a 6 year old (right). Note that the 1-yr old's vertebrae is still in pieces.

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL133.../293669158.jpg

    In the 2nd picture, thoracic vertebrae for a 1 yr old (left) and for a 6 yr old (right). Note that the 1-yr old's vertebrae is still in pieces.

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL133.../293669157.jpg

    In the 3rd picture, lumbar vertebrae for a 1 yr old (left) and for a 6 yr old (right). Note that the 1-yr old's vertebrae is still in pieces.

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL133.../293669156.jpg


    The vertebrae do not begin to fuse until age 3-6 years old. This is why rear-facing is the safest as it gives more support and protection to the incomplete vertebrae and therefore the spinal cord. With vertebrae in pieces, a forward facing child has a greater chance of damage to the spinal cord when their head and neck whip forward and back in a crash.

    To see what I mean by crash forces a child experiences in a crash, go to http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx
    Scroll down the page to read the section titled "Why should my child rear-face past 1 year and 20 lbs?" for an explanation of crash forces and look at the crash test videos of forward-facing and rear-facing seats, the videos are at the bottom of the page.

    We have car seats that allow children to rear-face up until 30-35 lbs, each seat varies. For many children this is well into their 2nd year if not older, and closer to the age when their vertebrae are fused. We just need to use the seats rear-facing to give children more protection in a crash.

    I just thought some people here might be interested in these pictures.

    Nicci


    ETA: Link to crash test videos, more information about crash forces in an accident, and typos
    Last edited by missym; 01-11-2008 at 03:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    very interesting! i get a lot of flack from other mom friends for not turning DD around, but we just won't do it! There's no good reason TO turn them around other than wanting to see them and interact with them from the front seat...IMO...that's not a compelling argument...

  3. #3
    kellyotn is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Wow, that is compelling! I always just thought they were "softer", but didn't picture what "fusing" meant.

  4. #4
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Cartilage is between the bones and it will be replaced by bone as the bone grows over it. It just takes time for it to completely fuse into a solid vertebrae.

    The human body is amazing. I've also seen femurs that aren't completely fused, that doesn't happen until teenager years, or a child's skull. It just blows me away how a child grows.

    Nicci

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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    I'm glad you titled this so well. It will make it easier to find as I'm sure everyone will be referring to it often! Thanks!

  6. #6
    Canna is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Wow, that is very interesting to see! Thanks so much!

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Wow, great pictures. I wish that avi was not such a big kid. He was RF as long as possible, until 17 months. It makes me so sad, he was so big but would still be RF if he weighed less but i know people who have 2 year olds that weigh 25 lbs and are FF.

    UGH

    Ilana, aka Nana to my sweet nephew Avi

    http://lilypie.com/pic/060403/hfNw.jpg[/img]http://b2.lilypie.com/h2bbm7/.png[/img][/url]

  8. #8
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Makes me wish we had those swedish seats where they can rearface to 5 or 6 yrs old. But we have the seats that we do, and we can use them as long as possible for our kiddos.

  9. #9
    strollerfreak Guest

    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Wow those are compelling...thank you for posting these pictures, they are a great reference.

  10. #10
    hipmaman is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Pictures of spine development: the reason a baby should not face forward

    Thank you very much. One question someone asked me if there are pictures for older children? Or when the vertebrae has formed into one piece, it would now only be the issue of density?

    Thanks again.
    Tam
    Certified Canadian Child Restraint Safety Technician and Instructor






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