Every three years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reviews recent crash data and their recommendations for car seats. According to the academy, proper use and installation of car and booster seats can reduce the chances of injury or death by 70 percent or more.
Late last month, they revised their recommendations.
In this post, we will discuss what this means for your child’s car seat and how to protect your kid while you’re in the car together.
How long should children remain in car seats?
Many parents wonder when it is time to upgrade to a forward-facing car seat. In previous years, the AAP recommended that children below the age of two should remain in rear-facing car seats. However, they are now stating that age is of less importance than the child’s weight and height. They recommend that children should remain in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. Typically, this is when children are 40 pounds or more.
When your child reaches the optimal weight and height to upgrade to a forward-facing car seat, they recommend installing a booster seat. The booster seat should be used until your kid is around four feet and nine inches tall. Often, kids will reach this height between the ages of eight and 12 years old.
However, until your child is 13 years of age or older, the AAP highly recommends that they always ride in the back seat.
Make the most out of your child’s car seat
According to a report from The Journal of Pediatrics, nearly half of children who died in car accidents between 2010 and 2014 were improperly restrained or unrestrained. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends adhering to the following tips to keep your child safe in their car seat:
- Find a car seat that is suitable for your child’s height and weight
- Avoid purchasing used car seats as they may have internal damage and be out-of-date
- Review the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation
- Consider having your car seat inspected by a certified technician
- Register the car seat to receive updates on recalls and safety notices from the manufacturer
- Stay up-to-date on the AAP’s safety recommendations
Do not take shortcuts when it comes to your child’s safety. Following the AAP’s revised recommendations and NHTSA’s tips can help you to be proactive when it comes to protecting your child.