Experts drop kids' age limit for rear-facing vehicle seats

Experts drop kids' age limit for rear-facing vehicle seats

Experts drop kids' age limit for rear-facing vehicle seats

Heads up, parents: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its guidelines on how long children should stay in rear-facing vehicle seats.

Now, the AAP says most formative years ought to serene remain in a rear-going through automotive seat - which greater protects a child's head, spine and neck, among numerous advantages - past their second birthday.

Once kids outgrow a rear-facing seat, they should use a forward-facing safety seat with a harness until they reach its height and weight limits.

Experts want your child staying in the rear-facing auto seat for as long as possible.

When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are all supported by the hard shell of the auto safety seat, allowing the vehicle seat to absorb most of the crash forces, and protecting the most vulnerable parts of the body. They recommend that they then go to a belt-positioning booster seat until the lap and shoulder belt's fit comfortably.

The change comes after a study that cited data "supported by biometric research, crash simulation data and experience in Europe where children ride rear facing for longer periods" came into question previous year.

However, the academy announced Wednesday it is dropping the age limit in favor of instead suggesting parents focus on the highest weight or height allowed by each auto seat. Auto seat safety can sometimes feel overwhelming (especially for first-time parents), but when we break it down, it gets really simple.

Young said that when it comes to rear-facing seats, parents often make the mistake of turning their kids around too soon.

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.

"The study's talking about the developing spinal system and the bones, and how malleable they are, and it's better to have them rear facing for that impact than it is to have them forward facing", Way said. This is often when they have reached at least 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 to 12 years old.

On the other hand, in front-facing auto seats, the child's body is merely restrained by harness straps, but their disproportionately larger heads may be thrown forward, resulting is possible serious injury to the neck, head, or spine.

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