On Monday, March 21 , 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a new recommendation that will affect many of our readers. If you have not yet heard the news, please read on and pass this article on to anyone you know with a toddler or baby! Also, if you have a child who is not yet 13, we want to remind you that they should be riding in the REAR of the vehicle at all times.
The AAP now advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
I know, I know … this is not convenient for you. It is not what you have been doing, and it is not the best “set-up” for your car. BUT these are the safest recommendations for our children. Who can argue that? Please put the safety of your children first and adhere to these new recommendations.
The AAP states, “The previous policy, from 2002, advised that it is safest for infants and toddlers to ride rear-facing up to the limits of the car seat, but it also cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum. As a result, many parents turned the seat to face the front of the car when their child celebrated his or her first birthday.
‘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.”
In addition, research has found children are safer in rear-facing car seats. A 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention showed that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing. These are FACTS. Please take them seriously.
More info from the AAP states, “Children should transition from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat with a harness, until they reach the maximum weight or height for that seat. Then a booster will make sure the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt fit properly. The shoulder belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not near the neck or face. The lap belt should fit low and snug on the hips and upper thighs, not across the belly. Most children will need a booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years old. Children should ride in the rear of a vehicle until they are 13 years old.”
Again, please pass this on to other moms and help spread the word.
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