Car Seat News! Toddlers Should Ride Backwards
For years parents have been turning their babies’ rear-facing car seats to forward facing at the 1-year mark. It’s understandable that a parent would feel more secure being able to glance back to see what their little one is up to, but just as it’s best (and safest!) to keep your eyes peeled on the road, it’s now recommended that your child stay in that rear-facing position until she is 2 years old, or until she is too tall or weighs too much for her seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, whichever comes first. Likewise, a smaller toddler will need to stay in a rear-facing seat longer than 2 years until she reaches the height or weight that is required for her to be turned around.
Today the American Academy of Pediatrics released these updated guidelines to provide parents with a clearer rule of thumb than they had in the past. The earlier guidelines from 2002 advised parents to turn car seats around at a minimum of 12 months and 20 pounds, in addition to saying that manufacturer car safety seat instructions for height and weight limits should first be followed. The takeaway many people got from that was that they could make the switch at 1 year.
Now the recommendations are clearer while providing the flexibility parents need to adjust the seats based on their child’s growth to provide the most protection possible for the baby or toddler in the event of a car accident to help prevent injuries and fatalities.
How do you feel about the revised guidelines? Were you already following the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits for turning safety seats to the forward-facing position? Or are you relieved to get this updated advice?
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