Big changes happened in the quest to keep kids safe last week as the American Academy of Pediatrics released updated guidelines for children’s car seats.
The revised report states that children should ride rear-facing in their car seats for “as long as possible,” or until they reach the height or weight limit of the seat (generally 40 pounds).
Previous guidance from the Academy encouraged parents to keep their child rear-facing until at least the age of 2. But decades of research and new developments in child safety laws have led the Academy to completely drop the age of a child as a factor in safety altogether.
This small, but significant change means that most children will remain rear-facing in the car far beyond their second birthdays, as evidence continues to show that rear-facing is the absolute safest way for children to ride.
“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 Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. “It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”