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New guidelines for young children in auto seats
03 September 2018, 05:04 | Rodolfo Wallace
Experts drop kids' age limit for rear-facing car seats
Unlike with rear-facing seats, in forward-facing seats, a toddler's head - which is "disproportionately large and heavy" - is thrown forward in a crash, which could lead towards spine and head injuries.
Now the AAP suggests parents keep them rear-facing until they outgrow their vehicle seat's height and weight limits.
While past recommendations indicated using children's auto seats until kids turn two, the new guidelines in this regard removed the age limit, arguing that safety measures must be taken until the children can use the cars' built-in seatbelts.
"We honest actual don't include a honorable ample set of files to uncover with straightforward job at what age it's most gather to expose formative years to be forward-going through", Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Damage, Violence and Poison Prevention Executive Committee, added in a commentary.
He added that vehicle seat manufacturers nowadays offer seats built to keep kids rear-facing until they are 40 pounds or more, "which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday".
The change means that most children will remain in rear-facing seats well after their second birthdays.
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As a result, Hoffman recommends that, 'If you have a choice, keeping your child rear-facing as long as possible is the best way to keep them safe'. He added that it would be wise to put kids in auto seats as long as possible for their safety.
Natasha Young, a certified technician for nonprofit organization Safe Kids Worldwide, explains the practical reason why parents might want to change their child's seating position prematurely.
Previously, parents were told children could graduate to front-facing seats at age 2.
The new policy also recommends that older kids stay in forward-facing safety seats and booster seats until they reach the maximum height and weight recommended by the manufacturer. Rear-facing seats, on the other hand, are better at absorbing the impact of a crash.
In an interview with NBC News, Hoffman said he's aware parents enjoy checking off these milestones for their kids, but he recommends taking a step back to make sure they're adhering to the academy's guidelines.
For Heather Squillacioti, ensuring her children's safety before every road trip is a priority.
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