Stay Safe On The Road: Updated Car Seat Recommendations

If you’re getting ready to hit the road with your kids for spring break, its’ time to take a new look at car seat guidelines. In a new policy published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online March 21), the AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

Before this update, the last policy, dated 2002, advised parents to wait until 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum. As a result, many parents turned the car seat to front facing when their children turned one. While it’s exciting to look forward to these milestones with your children, transitions like this are often best delayed until your child fully outgrows the limits for their current stage.

Since the guideline changes can be confusing, we wanted to share this explanation from HealthyChildren.org. Get information on safety seats by age group, and read some of the most common questions parents ask about their safety seats, and keep your children safe no matter where your next adventure takes you!