New Car Seat Rules for Child Car Safety
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced new car seat rules—and you may be surprised by their recommendations for babies in car seats.
For years, parents were told at babies could switch to front-facing infant car seats when they turned 1 and weighed at least 20 pounds. But the new recommendation is for babies in car seats to remain rear-facing until they are 2 years old, or until they max out on the height and weight recommendation of the car seat (check the manual!).
There's a good reason for the change—a 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention found that kids under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding facing toward the rear.
The other big news is that big kids should ride in belt-positioning booster seats until they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall and 8 to 12 years old. And in case you forgot—kids should ride in the backseat until they are 13 years old.
Sure, we know your toddler will fuss if he can't see you in the car, and your tween is not going to be happy about being strapped into a booster (not cool, mom!), but ultimately, child car safety comes first, right? The sad truth is that vehicle-related injuries are the number-one cause of death in kids ages 2 to 14.
For the full scoop on the new car seat rules, check out the AAP website.
What do you think about the new car seat rules?