New Car Seat Safety Guidelines

New Car Seat Safety Guidelines
Posted on 11/08/2018
rear facing car seatArticle by  Dr. Colin Petranu

In August 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised their car seat guidelines and came out with new recommendations designed to better protect children. The AAP now recommends children remain in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible until they reach the weight or height limit allowed by their seat. For a lot of kids, this means they'll be rear facing at least until they're 3 or 4 years old. Most convertible car seats have a weight limit between 35 and 50 pounds, so kids can be pretty old before they turn around.The AAP says turning around the car seat is one milestone parents don't want to rush as every car seat transition (from rear-facing to forward and from forward-facing to booster) leaves kids a little less protected.

The AAP car seat recommendations include:
1. Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible, until they reach the weight or height limit allowed by their seat. Most convertible seats have limits that will allow children to ride rear-facing until at least ages 3-4.
2. Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, until they reach the height and weight limits for their seats. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or more.
3. When children exceed these limits, they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly. This isn't usually until children have reached at least 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 to 12 years old.
4. When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
5. All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

Using the correct car seat or booster seat lowers the risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent. Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children. In the US an average of 4 children ages 14 and younger die each day from car crashes. Hopefully by helping parents and caregivers use the right car seat we can better protect kids and prevent tragedies.

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498

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