Since the leading cause of death for children over 4 years of age is motor vehicle crashes, we decided to take a closer look at car seats and safety. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) just came out with an update for their Recommendations for Car Seats for Children on August 30, 2018. Here are some of the highlights of the new recommendations:
· All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.
o Most can accommodate children up to 35-50 lbs.
· All children who have outgrown (weight or height) a rear-facing car seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible.
· All children whose weight or height is above the forward facing limit for their car seat should use a belt positioned booster seat until the vehicle lap and should belt fit properly (4’9” in height and around 8-12 years in age).
· Older children should always wear the lap and shoulder seat belts.
· All children younger than 13 years should sit in the rear seats of vehicles.
If you prefer to see a flow chart, click here.
There are several excellent resources to help out parents as they try to decide what car seat is right for their child. Below we have listed some of our favorite resources.
· Find a child passenger safety technician at a formal inspection station. You can type in your zip code and it will show you a list of places you can go. https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#install-inspection
· The National Child Passenger Safety Certification Website: http://cert.safekids.org/
o They also have the Ultimate Car Seat Guide.
You can also stop by the Austin Fire Department to have your car seat checked for proper installation.