Keeping up with the latest safety must-do’s can be a challenge. If you feel like there’s a constant stream of new recommendations almost daily, you’re not entirely wrong. But it’s all for a very good cause—you’re child’s health and well-being. With that in mind, the new car seat guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are something that every parent of a young child needs to know about.
The AAP recently published their updated policy statement, “Child Passenger Safety.” In the past, the AAP recommended that children remain in rear-facing car seats until age two. The new guidelines are a big departure from the group’s previous guidelines.
Instead of recommending that all infants should remain rear-facing until the age of two, the AAP now recommends infants remain in rear-facing car seats for “as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed” by the car seat manufacturer for your particular model.
According to Benjamin Hoffman, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, “Fortunately, car 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.”
So what does this mean for your child? For best practice in child car seat safety, you need to follow the height and weight guidelines that your car seat manufacturer sets for the specific seat—and not solely by age. If your child is over two, but doesn’t meet the height or weight limits, they should remain stay rear-facing.
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