The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this week announced revised child safety seat guidance, advising that young kids should ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible.
New data prompted this update to AAP’s policy statement and technical report, Child Passenger Safety. Previously, the guidance was that children should ride rear-facing until age 2.
The updated recommendations call for the following:
- Children should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, up to the limits of their car safety seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 years of age and most children up to age 4.
- Once they have been turned around, children should remain in a forward-facing car safety seat up to that seat’s weight and length limits. Most seats can accommodate children up to 60 pounds or more.
- When they exceed these limits, child passengers should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they can use a seat belt that fits correctly.
- Once they exceed the booster limits and are large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use a lap and shoulder belt.
- All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection
“The most dangerous thing that U.S. children do as part of daily life is ride in a car,” writes Benjamin D. Hoffman, M.D., FAAP. “Using the correct car safety seat can help decrease the risk of death or serious injury by over 70%.”
Read the full article from AAP News, which includes links to the updated policy and technical report.