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Mom Alert! New Safety Guidelines for Kids in Car Seats

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Moms, this is going to change how your children travel in a car!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) officially revised its recommendations regarding buckling up baby. Most notably -- children should be in rear-facing seats until the age of 2.

The "Today" show walked parents through each of the new safety guidelines. Be sure to watch!

What You Need to Know:

  • Infant seats are always rear-facing.

  • A baby stays in an infant seat until it reaches the limit of the seat -- check with the specifications marked on your car seat.

  • Convertible seats should now face the rear -- until your child is 2 years old (as long as within the limits of the seat).

  • Children should be kept in a booster seat until the child is 4'9", which is roughly between 8 and 12 years of age. This is to make sure the seat belt secures in the correct place.

  • Children should be in the rear of a car until age 13.

Momlogic wants to know: How do you feel about these new guidelines? Does it bother you that you won't be able to look at your children in the rearview mirror until the age of 2?

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23 comments so far | Post a comment now
Robin March 21, 2011, 10:16 AM

I don’t know about anyone else but my kids are very tall for their age and would not fit in a rear facing seat until 2.

Anonymous March 21, 2011, 10:24 AM

What are the kids supposed to do for leg room. My 3year Old son would have no place to put his legs when he was 2. Plus I think the child would be more of a distraction in the car when they can’t see you or where they are going.

Anonymous March 21, 2011, 10:50 AM

Broken leg, or broken neck - your choice. I’ll take a broken leg. Rear facing! WHOHOO!

Kristen March 21, 2011, 11:12 AM

I laughed so hard at this article….American’s are just now catching up to their European counterparts, these standards have been in place in Germany for MANY years already. Hopefully people will actually follow them. I have an 8yr old that is still in a fullback booster and will be until she is AT LEAST 10yrs old. People who whine and say oh my kid will never do that, well you need to realize who the parent is. Hopefully one day America will also catch up to equality with healthcare!

Anonymous March 21, 2011, 11:20 AM

they’ve always reccomended keeping rear facing as long as possible. this is only giving you a number cuz nobody does it that long

Cathy March 21, 2011, 11:53 AM

Most 2 year old children do not fit in a rear facing car seat because they’re legs are much too long. Even at a year old I have had children who’s legs would not fit. I can’t believe a child is safe with their knees up around their ears while riding in a car. They would be pushing on the back seat the whole time and loosening the fit of the car seat in the vehicle. Maybe we should just wrap them all in bubble wrap until they go to college. Come on people!

Xgenn March 21, 2011, 11:54 AM

Has nothing to do with a broken leg. But if your knees are in your chest when you get in a wreck, broken legs are the least of your problems. My daughter pushed off the seat so hard her car seat flipped over backwards and had her hanging upside down still buckled to the car.

Anonymous March 21, 2011, 11:59 AM

I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. I have had my son front facing since he was one year old and 20 pounds. He is now 21 months and his legs far extend over the edge of the car seat. He would be squashed between the car seat and the back of the seat if I was in a rear end accident.

Either way, there is risk to the child either way they sit. But I am sure NOT going to squash my child even more. Parents need to learn to properly adjust the car seat straps.

Kristen March 21, 2011, 11:59 AM

People are focusing WAY too much on the infant rear facing stuff. What about the poor 3/4yr olds that I see in a booster seat, I think that is where the real problem is.

Cathy March 21, 2011, 12:12 PM

Maybe the focus is on the rear facing issue because it is so unrealistic. Their recommendation for 3-4 year olds and their height and weight is reasonable and correct and in my experience most parents comply with regulations for 3-4 year olds. At the other end of the spectrum however, I also have a problem. I am 5’4” and 51 years old and seat belts hit me in the neck so perhaps we need to come up with a new system for vehicle car seatbelts that fit a variety of people correctly instead of requiring shorter middle school children to ride in boosters. What are they supposed to do…carry a booster around with them when they are in a car other than their parents car. We have to be more realistic when making guidelines.

Kristen March 21, 2011, 12:20 PM

Cathy, every car I have ever owned has a seat belt adjustment…….where your seat belt is hooked to the car, it normally has a small button(it’s hard to see sometimes)when you press that button the seat belt will slide up or down to the proper position for the person driving. I’m a pretty tiny person, 5’2” and I weigh about 120 lbs and I’ve never had a problem with the seats belts in any car once I learned to properly adjust the seatbelt. As for the guidelines, they are right on in terms of keeping kids safe. You should research European crash statistics, kids are hurt much less in accidents because they are required by law to adhere to these standards(they are not guidelines in European countries, they are laws).

Kristen March 21, 2011, 12:23 PM

Oh and the comment about carrying booster seats around, YES that is EXACTLY what should happen. My children DO NOT get in any vehicle unless they are properly secured in a safety seat. My 6yr old is still in a carseat with a 5 point harness and my 8yr old is still in a FULLBACK booster seat and will be until at least 10yrs of age.

Anonymous March 21, 2011, 12:35 PM

Well, Kristen good for you. I too have owned and ridden in many different cars and while some work better than others, (and the driver’s seat is usually better), many of them still hit me in the neck. Great if you have always had good luck with yours but don’t insult me by suggesting that I do not know how to adjust a seat belt. I am not talking about 6 yr olds or 8 year olds I am talking about the upper limits of 12 who are in 8th grade. Come talk to me when your children hit that age.

Kristen March 21, 2011, 12:53 PM

If your 12yr old has a seat belt still hitting in the neck then I would say he still needs to be in a booster seat that does not have a back on it.

Kristen March 21, 2011, 12:57 PM

Their also called booster cushions, they make them for adults who are short as well.

Tabitha March 21, 2011, 3:07 PM

Why don’t we just make it so cars don’t go as fast? We didn’t have car seats til people stopped learning respect and driving defensively and the cars didn’t go 130 mph.

RS March 21, 2011, 4:04 PM

After four kids, ages 19 years to 18 months, I have seen a lot of changes. Every one of them has been to ensure the safety of our children. My 9 year old happily sat in his booster seat until reaching 4’9” last year. We actually had him out of one, but stopped at a safety check to learn about installing an infant seat for our newborn. Once we realized he was out too early, right back in he went. My youngest will remain rear facing as long as possible. We bought a seat that could keep her that way up to 40 pounds. At 18 months, she just weighs 20 pounds, so we are in no hurry to turn her. Even on her 2nd bday, we will be certain to double-check with her pediatrician before making the turn.

Fawxy March 21, 2011, 7:30 PM

These are jus guidelines right?

or are u gonna get pulled over for having a front facing baby seat?

my daughter is 20 pounds she jus recently got a new fw facing car seat for each car, and she loves to be able to see everything, im not sure i wanna put her facing backwards again…. unless of course its the law?

April March 21, 2011, 8:19 PM

This is absolutely absurd. Nevermind that mothers won’t be able to look at their children in the rearview mirror until their 2. What about the fact that they can’t ride next to you (in the front) until they’re teenagers and won’t want to.

Maureen March 23, 2011, 5:06 AM

These car seats are very important.

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