SALT LAKE CITY — Experts want your child staying in the rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.
A technical report on the statement will be published this November in Pediatrics.
The AAP said children should stay in their rear-facing seats until they reach the maximum height and weight allowed for the seat.
“Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday,” said Benjamin Hoffman, co-author of the policy statement and chairman of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, according to WPXI. “It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”
Previously, the AAP said children should only stay in the rear-facing seat until they were 2 years old, according to Today.com. The new findings are based on child size rather than age.
The AAP also recommends children should use forward-facing car seats for as long as possible.
When children age out of car seats, they should use booster seats. The AAP said children who are between 8 and 12 years old, or 4 feet, 9 inches, will often use those seats.
Children younger than 13 years old should sit in the back seat with a seat belt, the report said.
“Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children. Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 and younger died each day,” Hoffman wrote. “We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right car safety seat for each and every ride that we can better protect kids, and prevent tragedies.”
Hoffmann told NBC News the changes come amid new research about car safety for children.4 comments on this story
"The last time this policy was reevaluated there had not been a lot of new data," Hoffman told NBC News. "But in the last year, there has been a significant change in what we know about the relative protection of car seats." The academy's policies are reviewed every three years.
Specifically, he mentioned a 2016 legal case in Texas in which a car seat manufacturer was held responsible after a 20-month-old suffered severe injuries because the company didn’t warn parents about the dangers of the car seat.