American Academy of Pediatrics New Car Seats Recommendations
Toddlers are usually switched from rear facing to forward facing car seats after their first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued new recommendations that children under two are seventy five percent less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are facing the rear. When a car seat is facing the rear it does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of the infant because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body. (Durbin MD)
The new policy advises that older children should ride in the belt positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and 8 to 12 years old. The booster seat allows for the lap and shoulder seat belt to properly fit across the hips and pelvis and the shoulder portion fit across the middle of the shoulder and chest. Children under 13 years of age should sit in the back seat.