Experts drop kids' age limit for rear-facing auto seats
Sep 03, 2018, 05:04
"This is still the safest way for children to ride", Hoffman added.
The new policy also recommends older kids staying in forward-facing seats and booster seats until they are the maximum height and weight recommended by the manufacturer.
Once kids outgrow a rear-facing seat, they should use a forward-facing safety seat with a harness until they reach its height and weight limits.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is updating its guidelines to keep kids facing the rear longer to decrease the chance of injury or death in a crash.
Before the new guidelines were published on August 30, 2018, it was recommended that kids remain in the rear-facing auto seats until the age of two.
"You just want to keep reminding people that it's much safer to be rear facing in a auto seat. So they could accommodate kids for longer periods", he explains. Families can call to make an appointment.
In front-facing vehicle seats, a toddler stands at greater risk of injury from their head being thrown forward than they would in a rear-facing seat, the experts said. This is key in toddlers, who have large, heavy heads in proportion to their bodies.
Hoffman said parents are eager for their children to reach milestones, but that delaying this one is life-saving.
"Previously, the recommendation was up to 2, now it could be up to 4 years, numerous rear facing seats will go up to 40 pounds", said Pam Johnson, a Registered Nurse at Mayo Clinic Health Systems. "We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right vehicle safety seat for each and every ride that we can better protect kids, and prevent tragedies". Rear-facing seats, on the other hand, are better at absorbing the impact of a crash. When a child is approaching one of those limits, it is time to think about transitioning to the next stage. Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 died each day.
"If you're going to make a kid sit until they're four years old and they had known nothing different is one thing, but when you take a kid that's two and a half, turn them around and then three months later tell them they have to sit backwards is going to make for a really long and miserable auto ride", said Hunyor.
In this undated stock photo, a mom buckles her infant son safely into a rear facing auto seat as they get ready to drive somewhere in their vehicle.
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