The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated it’s recommendations on child safety seats. The AAP now recommends that parents keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until two years of age, or until they have reached the maximum weight and height recommended by the manufacturer of their seat. The previous policy also advised parents to follow the car seat manufacturer’s guidelines for height and weight, but recommended that car seats may be turned around at a child’s first birthday.
In addition to updating it’s guidelines for toddlers, the AAP now recommends children under 13 should ride in the back seat, and use a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and eight years old.
According to the AAP, “New research has found children are safer in rear-facing car seats. A 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention showed that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing.” This is due to a rear-facing seat’s ability to support the head, spine and neck of infants and toddlers in a crash because it’s distributes the force and impact of a collision over the child’s entire body. As the child grows, a forward-facing seat with a harness is safer than a booster seat; until the seat belt fits correctly, a belt-positioning booster seat provides more protection that just using a seat belt alone.
For more safety information on kids car seats, click here.