All children must remain in infant seats through college and graduate school. Obviously not, but one parent the other day told me the new guidelines make it seem this way. The new car seat guidelines were not put together cavalierly, but reflect modern evidence based medicine. Children below the age of two who were involved in motor vehicle accidents fared so much better in a backward facing properly secured car seat that the AAP felt obligated to issue the new guidelines. After all, our job as pediatricians is to protect and advocate for our patients.
The following are some highlights of the new car seat recommendations. Please also be sure to check out the car seat video.
1.Parents should keep their infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age two or until they reach the maximum weight and height for their seat. 2.Older children should remain in a secured belt-positioning booster seat until they reach 57 inches of height or twelve years of age; whichever occurs first. 3. Once children graduate from booster seats, they must continue to ride in the back seat of the car through age 12; of course secured with proper lap and shoulder belts. As many infant rear-facing car seats are only designed to be used until one year of age; it has been suggested that parents with such seats switch to larger convertible seats after a year of age. Previous recommendations had children graduating from booster seats at age eight or 52 inches. Although many municipalities currently continue to enforce the old guidelines, historically most municipalities have adopted AAP guidelines. In other words, you may not yet be ticketed for not securing an eight year old in a booster seat, but this is likely to change. Again be sure to check out the link to the car seat lady video.