There’s no doubt that things have changed in the world of parenting since I was a kid.

There are all kinds of scientific research and evidence that support a different way of doing things – not spanking your kids, raising children with emotional intelligence, talking about things like sex and racial tensions at a young age, and yes, keeping children in car seats long past when they could reasonably be considered “babies.”

My own kids’ car seats allow them to face the rear of the car until they weigh 50lbs, and they can stay in the same 5-point harness seat, facing forward, until they weigh 65lbs.

Which is to say, they could outgrow elementary school before they outgrow the car seats they rode home in from the hospital. Crazy, right?

I’m pretty sure that I quit riding in a car seat when I was like, one.

Even though things are different now, and most parents want to do what will keep their kids the safest for the longest amount of time, kids themselves can still feel the peer pressure to graduate to a “big boy” seat before the weight limits expire.

Louise Thomsen took on the topic with a picture of her 7-year-old son in a car seat, shared on Facebook, with the following caption:

“Here is a photo of my 7 year old on a long road trip we took over the school holidays. He has been teased for being in a ‘baby seat’ from his friends at school this past term. 

No parent wants their child to experience ridicule, BUT the statistics speak for themselves regarding children & approved car seats…especially when they fall asleep in their seats. 

Take all the factors into consideration when making these choices. Don’t just follow the trend, follow the safest option to protect your family.”

Those statistics she’s talking about do make quite the statement – the CDC estimates that children riding in a properly installed car seat are between 71%-82% less likely to be injured in a car accident than children riding just in a seat belt.

I mean. Wow.

The American Academy of Pediatrics updated their recommendations similarly in 2018, recommending that children stay rear-facing to at least 40 lbs, and in a 5-point harness until they weigh 65lbs (longer, if the seat’s guidelines allow for it).

Basically, we should all be keeping our kids in a 5-point harness – rear-facing as long as possible, then front-facing as long as possible – until we literally can’t anymore.

The people who replied on Thomsen’s post seem to agree, and maybe if every parent followed the guidelines and recommendations, kids wouldn’t be getting picked on for having responsible parents who care about their safety in an accident.

Just sayin’…