Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Guidelines for Car Seats

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their policy regarding rear-facing car seats for infants and toddlers. It is now recommended that the seats continue until 2 years of age. Formerly rear seating was recommended only for babies up to 1 year in age.

Staying in a rear-facing car seat until 2 years of age reduces the risk of serious injury by 75%. The blunt force experienced during an auto accident can cause serious injury or death due to spinal cord injuries suffered when an small child’s head is jolted back and forth during impact.

Once your child has reached the height and weight limit of their car seat they may transition to a booster seat but not until the age of 4 and if the seat belt straps do not cross the neck or abdomen of your child in the booster seat. They should continue to use the booster seat until they reach 4 feet 9 inches (generally between 8 and 12 years of age). Booster seats are important to use so that seat belts cross their bodies properly to restrain them. All children should remain in the back seat through age 12.

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