New recommendations to keep your kids safe in the vehicle

New recommendations to keep your kids safe in the vehicle

New recommendations to keep your kids safe in the vehicle

Earlier this year one mom, Sarah Sutton, told Motherly how glad she was that she kept her older kids, ages 6 and 5, in their forward-facing auto seats even after they started complaining about them.

Rear-facing seats absorb the impact from the body in the case of vehicle crash or sudden stop. "The AAP chose to update its recommendations to reflect how the science has evolved", the organization 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, auto seat technician.

Each auto seat may vary on the height and weight that is safe to face the front so check to the manual for the instructions.

Children can typically use standard lap and shoulder seat belts safely when they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, or around eight to 12 years old. Now, the organization is updating its guidelines and wants parents to keep their children in rear-facing seats until they reach the seat's maximum height and weight limit - even if they're older than 2. "If you have a choice, keeping your child rear-facing as long as possible is the best way to keep them safe".

Many modern vehicle seats have weight limits of 65 pounds or more, so kids can stay in them for quite some time.

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He added that auto seat manufacturers nowadays offer seats built to keep kids rear-facing until they are 40 pounds or more, "which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday".

The AAP also recommends that children under 13 should ride in the backseat of cars for enhanced safety.

Overall, the transitions, according to the AAP, include going from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one with a harness and later to a "belt-positioning booster seat" until the child can ride with a shoulder seat belt alone.

Using the right seat reduces a child's risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent.

The AAP chose to update their auto seat policy after re-analyzing a 2017 study that originally recommended the age limit at two years old.

'A lot of times they like to see their child, entertain their child, especially if their child might be a little more fussy, ' Young said, noting that it's better to put up with a fussy child than put them at risk of injury in a crash.

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