Monday, 22 October, 2018

Pediatricians: Children older than 2 can remain in rear-facing vehicle seats

America's pediatricians have updated their safety guidelines for rear-facing car seats Pediatricians: Children older than 2 can remain in rear-facing vehicle seats
Melissa Porter | 03 September, 2018, 05:03

Experts added that no child should be allowed to ride without a vehicle safety seat if they are younger than 13 years old, and once the child is finally big enough to comfortably wear the lap and shoulder belt alone, they should make sure to use both (no moving the shoulder belt behind the back) for optimal protection.

The new policy also recommends older kids staying in forward-facing seats and booster seats until they are the maximum height and weight recommended by the manufacturer. All have been rear facing until they reached the auto seat's manufacture's height and weight requirement.

Children should stay in rear-facing auto seats as long as possible to protect their developing heads, necks and spines in the event of a crash, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In the backseat, five-year-old Dominic faces forward and his 16-month-old brother Joseph, faces the rear. "But that also means we just don't have a large enough set of data to determine with certainty at what age it is safest to turn children to be forward-facing". Families can call to make an appointment.

"Car seats are awesome at protecting children in a crash", said Benjamin Hoff, MD, lead author of the updated policy statement.

For years experts have recommended that kids use rear-facing auto seats until they're two years old.

After the children were turned around, they will remain seated in a auto safety seat which faces forward until they exceed the seat's length and weight limits. "You lose protection as you go from rear-facing to forward-facing, forward-facing to booster, and booster to seat belt".

Hoffman said parents are eager for their children to reach milestones, but that delaying this one is life-saving. When a child is approaching one of those limits, it is time to think about transitioning to the next stage.

Most important is to use a auto seat for every trip, Dr. Hoffman said. "Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 and younger died each day", Hoffman wrote. Many states have laws requiring children to be seated in the back seat (although in some cases exceptions are made if the back seat is already full of children or if the vehicle has no back seat).

He said that over the past 10 years, an average of four children under the age of 14 died per day and said that using the correct auto or booster seat lowers the risk of death or serious injury in children by more than 70 per cent. Auto seat safety can sometimes feel overwhelming (especially for first-time parents), but when we break it down, it gets really simple.