The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released new guidelines for car seat safety, which change the recommendations of the AAP made back in 2002. Parents, take note, because while the guidelines are meant to improve safety, they’ll potentially make for a very unhappy child or “tween”.
On Monday, the AAP issued a new recommendation to extend the amount of time in keeping infants and toddlers in rear facing seats and older children in boosters.
Here are the changes:
– Keep infants and toddlers in rear facing seats until age 2 or when they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. The AAP has always recommended keeping infants and toddlers in rear facing seats as long as possible, but have also recommended that young children, at a minimum, could transition into a forward facing seat at 12 months or at 20 lbs.
-Children will need to ride in a booster until they have reached a height of 4 feet, 9 inches tall, between the ages of 8 and 12. I do have questions about this one as it relates to children who probably are too big (wide) to fit in a booster. Then again, it’s meant as a guideline.
-A child should not ride in the front seat of a vehicle until they reach the age of 13.
According to news releases by the AAP, Dr. Dennis Durbin, lead author of the new policy statement, stated the following:
“A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body,” Dr. Durbin said. “For larger children, a forward-facing seat with a harness is safer than a booster, and a belt-positioning booster seat provides better protection than a seat belt alone until the seat belt fits correctly.”
The following is also noted:
“The ‘age 2’ recommendation is not a deadline, but rather a guideline to help parents decide when to make the transition,” Dr. Durbin said. “Smaller children will benefit from remaining rear-facing longer, while other children may reach the maximum height or weight before 2 years of age.”
Once Herman and I learned of the new guideline, we went ahead and switched Trey’s seat around. It was nice having Trey face forward so we could interact with him more, but we also had some doubts in keeping him in that position.