Last fall, we blogged about the importance of correctly using car seats and booster seats to keep babies and older children safe while driving. Just a few weeks ago, however, the AAP released new recommendations relating to car safety, and we wanted to share them with you.
The AAP issued two important revised recommendations:
(1) Parents are now advised to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.
(2) The AAP now recommends that children ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
More detailed information on these guidelines can be found at the AAP’s website.
According to the CDC, in 2008, an average of 4 children ages 14 or younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes every day, and many more were injured. Willows Pediatrics is here to answer questions about car seats or child safety in general. In addition, most of our local communities offer car seat check services.
We hope you will take these new recommendations into consideration when putting your children in the car. Use your best judgment and try to adhere to the weight/height guidelines, even if the age guidelines might not be appropriate for your child. For example, as Dr. Czuzcka notes, “The new 4’9” advice to stay in the back booster seat would mean that my wife’s grandmother would be a in a booster seat until she died in her 80s!” In other words, while these are important safety recommendations, each child is unique and there are times when exceptions may be made. (Feel free to ask us about your own child and your specific concerns at your next appointment.)
Thanks for checking in today … and, please, drive safely!