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American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Car Seat Safety Guidelines Once Again

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Until now, many parents typically wait until their little one turns 2 years old before switching them to a front-facing car seat. As of today, parents will want to revise their car seat practices. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just dropped the age criterion from its recommended car seat guidelines. The organization now recommends a rear-facing car seat until a child reaches the maximum height and weight allowance listed on the car seat’s manufacturing label.

Natasha Young, a certified technician for nonprofit organization Safe Kids Worldwide, explains the practical reason why parents might want to change their child’s seating position prematurely. “A lot of times they like to see their child, entertain their child, especially if their child might be a little more fussy.” Therefore, it’s important for parents to resist using a front-facing car seat if their child is under the maximum height and weight requirements for that car seat.

It’s a sobering fact that car crashes are the leading cause of fatality for children 4 years of age and older, according to the AAP. This seating position provides the most protection to vulnerable body parts such as the head, neck, and spine. Using the correct safety seat reduces a young child’s risk of injury or death by more than 70 percent.

Many young children older than 2 years old might whine about not upgrading to a “big kid” car seat yet, but parents can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their child is a safe as possible in the back seat.

News Sources: CBS NewsAmerican Academy of Pediatrics