Published: Sat, September 01, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Experts Change Kids’ Age Guidelines For Rear-Facing Car Seats

Experts Change Kids’ Age Guidelines For Rear-Facing Car Seats

"This is still the safest way for children to ride", Hoffman added.

Hoffman told NBC News that in the past year there has been "significant change in what we know about the relative protection of auto seats".

"Because it helps to protect them in the event of a crash".

"It's really important to keep them rear-facing as long as possible", said Natasha Young, who is mother to 5-month-old Soleil and a certified technician for the non-profit organization Safe Kids Worldwide.

Once children have graduated from rear-facing to forward-facing auto seats, the updated AAP recommendations also encourage parents to keep their children in the forward-facing vehicle seats until they physically outgrow them, which tends to be when they reach 65 pounds. Previously, the AAP recommended rear-facing auto seats up until the age of 2.

"We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right auto safety seat for each and every ride that we can better protect kids, and prevent tragedies", Hoffman said.

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.

Young said that when it comes to rear-facing seats, parents often make the mistake of turning their kids around too soon.

The change comes after a study that cited data "supported by biometric research, crash simulation data and experience in Europe where children ride rear facing for longer periods" came into question a year ago.

The change means that most children will remain in rear-facing seats well after their second birthdays.

Heads up, parents: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its guidelines on how long children should stay in rear-facing auto seats.

"There are so many things you can do to keep them safe, and this is just one of those simple things", Way said.

"A lot of times they want to see their child, entertain their child, especially if they are a little more fussy", Young said.

"We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right vehicle safety seat for each and every ride that we can better protect kids, and prevent tragedies", said Dr. Hoffman, also noting that using the right auto safety seat could lower the risk of serious injury or death by up to 70 percent.

"Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children".

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