The American Academy of Pediatrics changed its recommendations on how long children should remain in a rear-facing auto seat in a new policy statement called, "Child Passenger Safety". That data was supported by biometric research, crash simulation data and experience in Europe where children ride rear facing for longer periods.
When it comes to rear-facing seats, Young says parents often make the mistake of turning their kids around too soon.
The AAP said children should stay in their rear-facing seats until they reach the maximum height and weight allowed for the seat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is updating its guidelines to keep kids facing the rear longer to decrease the chance of injury or death in a crash. "It protects the head, neck and spine better in a crash". She said she agrees with having no age limit, but she thinks a child's own capability should be taken into consideration.
All children younger than 13 should ride in the back.
According to a Thursday press release from the AAP, the new recommendations came after the organization found that the journal Injury Prevention retracted the study on which the academy's previous guidelines were based.
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Natasha Young is mother to 5-month-old Soleil. The AAP chose to update its recommendations to reflect how the science has evolved.
Previously, the academy encouraged families to have their kids remain rear-facing in auto seats until at least age 2.
However, re-analysis of the data revealed that the injury numbers were too low to be considered statistically significant, thereby suggesting that there is still no certainty when it comes to the safest age to transition a child from rear-facing to forward-facing vehicle seats. When children ride forward-facing, their bodies are restrained by the harness straps, but their heads - which for toddlers are disproportionately large and heavy - are thrown forward, possibly resulting in spine and head injuries.
Specifically, he mentioned a 2016 legal case in Texas in which a vehicle 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 auto seat.
The organization says using the correct auto safety seat or booster seat can help decrease a child's risk of death or serious injury by over 70 percent.