Safety experts update vehicle seat recommendations


Beforehand, the AAP said formative years needs to be transported in a rear-going through automotive seat till now not much less than age 2.

Now the AAP suggests parents keep them rear-facing until they outgrow their auto seat's height and weight limits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that once children graduate to forward-facing auto seats, they should stay in those seats as long as possible, until about 65 pounds. He's chairman of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. Rear-facing seats absorb the impact from the body in the case of auto crash or sudden stop.

Specifically, this means that children are recommended to use rear-facing auto seats for as long as their height and weight are within the seat's set limits, even if the child is older than 2 years old. As long as a child doesn't exceed the weight limit, they should ride in a rear-facing seat, no matter their age. He added that it would be wise to put kids in vehicle seats as long as possible for their safety. On the other hand, in front-facing seats, in case of a crash, the kid's head might be thrown forward, causing severe harms to the neck and spine. However, using a vehicle seat that is appropriate for a child's size reduces the risk of fatalities and serious injuries by over 70 percent.

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Children should remain in rear-facing seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat manufacturer.

Parents are now advised to keep their children's auto seats in the rear-facing position for as long as possible, or at least up to the age of 4, according to the AAP's recently updated recommendations.

Experts also say the back seat is the safest place for children younger than 13 to ride. This typically happens when a child is between 8-12 years old and at least 4 feet, 9 inches. "Kids come in very different sizes, they could be heavy enough but not tall enough, really it's their height that makes the safety differences for where the belts go across their pelvis or go across their chest", Johnson said.

In an interview with NBC News, Hoffman said he's aware parents enjoy checking off these milestones for their kids, but he recommends taking a step back to make sure they're adhering to the academy's guidelines.