Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics published new car seat recommendations for parents in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics.
One of the biggest changes in recommendations is for children to remain in their rear-facing car seat up through age two (or the maximum height and weight limit), whereas the previous recommendations from 2002 prompted many parents to begin the switch after the child’s first birthday.
Another new recommendation is that children twelve years and younger should ride in the back seat, in addition to other recommendations involving booster seats and the heights of the children.
Pediatrician Dr. Alison Baer has produced a short video showcasing each of the recommendations, the evidence behind them, and suggestions and tips for children of all ages:
Many parents have shared stories of children frightened to not be facing forward (and therefore able to see where they are going), which can lead to either switching the child’s seat around, or at the very least, making for a loud trip with plenty of crying and screaming! At the end of the day, though, it has to be about the children and their safety. Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey actively works to end child abuse by way of evidence-based programs, and we of course must recommend that parents take the science and evidence from these exprts into account when making decisions about the safety of their children.
Like Dr. Baer says, it does not matter if it is just a short trip back home from school or the grocery store — the vast majority of accidents happen close to home, so always remember to buckle up properly!