March 21, 2011
The American Academy of Pediatrics has published new recommendations for infant car seat safety. The new recommendations are based on the analysis of recent research that demonstrates added safety benefits for rear-facing car seats beyond the age of one year or the previously recommended 20 pound limit. According to the AAP, the new recommendations are as follows:
- All infants and children should be in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they outgrow the height and weight specifications of the seat.
- Once children outgrow a rear-facing seat, they should be placed in forward-facing car seats with harnesses until they exceed the height and weight criteria.
- After forward-facing seats are no longer suitable, children should be placed in belt-positioning booster seats until the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder seat belt fits properly — with the lap portion fitting low across the hips and pelvis and the shoulder portion fitting across the middle of the shoulder and chest — usually when a child reaches 4 feet 9 inches or around ages 8 to 12.
- Lap-and-shoulder seat belts should be used at all times for children who have outgrown booster seats.
- All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat at all times.
Please share these recommendations with your family and friends. Keeping our children safe is essential.