Pediatricians drop age limit for rear-facing car seats

Experts drop kids' age limit for rear-facing car seats

The new guidelines recommend turning the auto seat from rear facing to front facing depending on the height and weight of your child, instead of just making the change based on their age. Many modern rear-facing vehicle seats can hold passengers that weigh up to 40 pounds. Most kids are big enough to ride in a auto without any safety equipment when they reach about 4 feet 9 inches tall. This typically happens when a child is between 8-12 years old and at least 4 feet, 9 inches. For best protection, all children under age 13 should sit in the rear seat of a vehicle. "He's already over 30 pounds, so by the time he's 2, he might be pushing it, but yeah, we'll probably keep him rear facing as long as possible".

At what point should a child stop using rear-facing auto seats?

So really the recommendation remains the same: "it's staying rear-facing for as long as you possibly can up until the limits of the seat", he says.

Heads up, parents: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its pointers on how long formative years ought to serene conclude in rear-going through automotive seats. "This is still the safest way for children to ride". He's chairman of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. A re-analysis of the data found that while rear-facing still appeared to be safer than forward-facing for children younger than 2, the injury numbers were too low to reach statistical significance. "The AAP determined to update its solutions to reflect how the science has evolved", the group said.

Experts want your child staying in the rear-facing auto seat for as long as possible. The key is to see what happens with their spine and how the body is absorbing more of the crash effect in a forward facing seat than a rear seat. When children ride forward-facing, their bodies are restrained by the harness straps, but their heads - which for toddlers are disproportionately large and heavy - are thrown forward, possibly resulting in spine and head injuries.

Hoffman said parents are eager for their children to reach milestones, but that delaying this one is life-saving. In auto seats, this is one area where transitions are not "positive", and where delaying transitions is best, according to the AAP.

"The study's talking about the developing spinal system and the bones, and how malleable they are, and it's better to have them rear facing for that impact than it is to have them forward facing", Way said.

Parents can find height and weight limits for a auto seat in the instruction manual. The decisions were made based on research on children auto safety. Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 died each day. Vehicle seat safety can sometimes feel overwhelming (especially for first-time parents), but when we break it down, it gets really simple.

"I think as they grow and their legs get longer it'll be really uncomfortable for them to be in that position for that long, especially on long auto rides", said Woltjer.



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