Experts Just Changed Their Car Seat Safety Guidelines To Keeps Kids Safe

The American Academy of Pediatrics has removed the age criterion.

We all know how important car seat safety is for young children. In fact, "the most dangerous thing that U.S. children do as part of daily life is ride in a car," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

For kids 4 years and older, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death. But, using a car seat correctly can drastically reduce the chance of injury and/or death by as much as 70 percent, according to the AAP.

To ensure kids stay as safe as possible, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released new car seat guidelines.

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The AAP now suggests that kids remain in rear-facing car seats until they've reached "the limits" of them, in terms of height and weight restrictions.

dad putting baby in car seat
 DGLimages / Shutterstock

Before the new guidelines were published on August 30, 2018, it was recommended that kids remain in the rear-facing car seats until the age of two. Based on evidence from the last decade, the experts have decided to remove the age guideline and suggest that parents keep their kids in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. 

The AAP points out this includes most children under the age of two and a lot up to the age of four.

Once the kids have reached the limits of the rear-facing car seats, the experts suggest that children transition to forward-facing car seats and stay in those up to the length and weight restrictions. After that, they can go into a belt-positioning booster seat until they can use a proper-fitting seat belt.

The full guidelines are published on the AAP News website.

"Every month that a child rides rear-facing a little bit longer gives more time for the head, neck and spine to develop," Kerry Chausmer, director of certification at Safe Kids, told GMA per ABC News." And that's really why we want kids to ride rear-facing."

"It protects the head, neck and spine better in a crash."

Dr. Ben Hoffman, the chairperson for the AAP's council on injury, violence and poison protection, acknowledged that parents get eager to celebrate the transition into a more "grownup" car seat, but it's important not to rush things in the interest of safety.

(H/T: PopSugar)

Cover image via GaudiLab IShutterstock

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