Pediatricians drop age limit for rear-facing car seats

America's pediatricians have updated their safety guidelines for rear-facing car seats

Children should ride in rear-facing auto seats until they reach the height or weight limit for the seat, according to updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"You can stay rear facing until your 40 pounds or 40 inches".

"They're getting excited about turning their child around, from rear-facing to forward-facing", Hoffman said.

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".

"Fortunately, auto seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday", said Benjamin Hoffman, co-author of the policy statement and chairman of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, according to WPXI. "It protects the head, neck and spine better in a crash". The new findings are based on child size rather than age.

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

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"The longer they face rear-facing, the safer it is", said Squillacioti. They've turned around shortly before 4, and my oldest will be in a 5-point harness as long as she is within the requirements, and Ben will be rear facing for a very long time. "The AAP chose to update its recommendations to reflect how the science has evolved", the organization said.

Video shows how a rear-facing seat can absorb a simulated crash compared to one that's forward facing. "One of the biggest risks would be damage to their brain and their spinal cord, which could be debilitating, if not a fatal injury for a child", Johnson said.

Do not forget to check the vehicle seat's label for those recommendations. Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 and younger died each day. "We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right vehicle safety seat for each and every right we can better protect kids".

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.

Jankens said if parents are having second thoughts about switching their child's auto seat, they should talk to an expert first.

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