Published: Sun, September 02, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Car Seat Safety Guidelines Once Again

American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Car Seat Safety Guidelines Once Again

Norton Children's Hospital Prevention and Wellness coordinator Sharon Rengers said parents had been told that children should ride in rear facing seats until the age of two.

"We have over the years had an occasional injury of a child, where they are improperly restrained in a auto seat or a booster seat and motivation from seeing that is something that keeps all of us, want to continue to educate parents and the community to keep their kids as safe as they can", Johnson said.

"They're recommending that you keep your child rear facing for as long as possible until they outgrow the height or the weight restrictions on your own particular seats", said Kelli Jankens, vehicle seat technician.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is updating its guidelines to keep kids facing the rear longer to decrease the chance of injury or death in a crash. "This is still the safest way for children to ride", Hoffman added in the statement released by the AAP.

"Previously, the recommendation was up to 2, now it could be up to 4 years, numerous rear facing seats will go up to 40 pounds", said Pam Johnson, a Registered Nurse at Mayo Clinic Health Systems.

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Parents are advised to seat children in rear-facing auto seats to protect their heads, necks and spines, says new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The updated policy statement was published online August 30 in the journal Pediatrics. That data was supported by biometric research, crash simulation data and experience in Europe where children ride rear facing for longer periods.

Once children have graduated from rear-facing to forward-facing vehicle seats, the updated AAP recommendations also encourage parents to keep their children in the forward-facing auto seats until they physically outgrow them, which tends to be when they reach 65 pounds. "He's already over 30 pounds, so by the time he's 2, he might be pushing it, but yeah, we'll probably keep him rear facing as long as possible".

Using the right seat reduces a child's risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent. "Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 and younger died each day", Hoffman wrote.

That was a common complaint with some parents interviewed by WTOL 11; but not enough of a reason for Emily Brown to move her daughter's auto seat before she turns four.

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