The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has revised its guidelines for car seat safety. The guidelines address three different types of child safety seats: infant seats, convertible seats, and booster seats. The major change in the guidelines affects the convertible seats. It is now recommended that children remain facing the rear of the vehicle until the age of two. Surveys show parents typically turn the seats forward facing when their toddlers reach around the age of one. These new guidelines say it is much safer for parents to resist this change until children are more physically developed. Data indicates that one-year-olds are five times less likely to be injured in an accident if they are facing the rear.
Another big change impacts the use of booster seats. The new guidelines recommend children stay in booster seats until they reach a height of 4’9,” which usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 12. The booster seat is designed to ensure that the car seat belt is strapped on properly. Regular shoulder strap seat belts on small children can ride up toward the neck, which can be uncomfortable and lead to kids wearing them improperly. They can also increase the risk of serious injury in a collision.
The guidelines also recommend children ride exclusively in the back seat until the age of 14.
Click here for a story on the changes on NBC's Today Show.
Click here for our previous post on car seat safety.
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