Pediatricians New Car Seat Guidelines
Pediatricians New Car Seat Guidelines. There are many challenges that come with having a baby in the home and one of them is sorting through the car seat guidelines. Pediatricians follow guidelines that are released and updated regularly by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Recently, these guidelines underwent another update that will improve the safety of babies and toddlers riding in cars. According to statistics that were released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2011:
- Out of all of the children who were killed in car accidents in 2011, about a third were not restrained at all
- About a quarter of infants under the age of 1 in 2011 were not restrained in any seat at all
- About a third of children between the ages of 1 and 7 also were not restrained in any way
- In cars where the driver was not wearing a seat belt, the children were less likely to be restrained as well.
These statistics are scary and indicate that children must be taught the importance of wearing their seat belt every time they ride in the car. For babies and toddlers, the responsibility falls on the parent or caregiver to make sure that they are protected while riding in a motor vehicle. This includes making sure that children are in the proper seat as well as bucked in. Recently, pediatricians new car seat guidelines were published.
An Update to the Guidelines: Rear-Facing Car Seat
In November of 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics is going to publish an update to their car seat safety guidelines. In the older guidelines, the recommendation was for parents to keep their children in a rear-facing car seat until they reach 2 years of age. Now, the pediatricians new car seat guidelines will indicate that children should be kept in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, which means that children need to be kept in a rear-facing car seat until they reach weight limit allowed by the manufacturer. For many car seats, this is about forty pounds. The new guidelines will remove the age-specific limit previously published in the old guidelines.
Why the Change?
The original guidelines have been successful at reducing the rate of injuries and fatalities among babies and toddlers in car accidents; however, the original guidelines were supported by a biometrics studied published in Europe. Unfortunately, some questions have arisen regarding the validity of the study. The study has since been retracted by the journal because the numbers failed to reach an appropriate level of statistical significance when the data was re-analyzed. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics is updating its recommendations.
What are the New Guidelines?
The AAP is going to publish new guidelines which will be as follows:
- Babies, toddlers, and infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach either the height or the weight limit that is allowed by the manufacturer of their car seat
- When children are switched to a forward-facing car seat, that car seat should have a harness
- Children should stay forward-facing until they reach the height or weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of that car seat
- Once children graduate from a car seat, children should move to a booster seat
- They should remain in that booster seat until they reach the height limit of that seat
- For most kids, this is about 4 feet 9 inches, which most kids reach around the age of 10
Remember, when children move to a standard seat, they must use both the lap and the shoulder belt. Car crashes are one of the most common reasons that children are killed. By using the proper seating and safety mechanisms, the risk of serious injury and death can be reduced.
Related Articles by Ed Smith
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. All children should be properly restrained while riding in a car. If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
To see how we’ve settled our past cases, you can look through our verdicts or settlements page.
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