New Guidelines From AAP Regarding Car Seats

by Liliya on March 21, 2011

Today American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online new guidance for child seat use. Accordingly to AAP reccomendations children should be kept in rear-facing car seat until age of two or until the maximum rear-facing height and weight is reached. The AAP also has new guidance for older kids: most should remain in a booster seat until they’re 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.

According to Ben Hoffman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico and member of the AAP’s executive committee, between the age of 1 and 2, children are 50 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash if they’re in a rear-facing car seat. If you keep a child rear-facing longer, not only are crash forces spread over a much larger area (the child’s back), but movement of their head is limited, and they are contained much more inside the shell of their seat.

“Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage to the next, but these transitions should generally be delayed until they’re necessary, when the child fully outgrows the limits for his or her current stage,” said Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report.

“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,” 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.” (Babycenter.com)

We would love to know your opinion on new AAP reccomendations. Will you keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible? Please share your thoughts!

Photo courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbybatchelder

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