New 2018 child car seat guidelines
Child car seat recommendations received an update from the American Academy of Pediatrics on August 30 in a new policy statement, “Child Passenger Safety,” and a related technical report. The policy now recommends that children use rear-facing car seats for as long as possible.
This update comes from a re-analysis of a study that showed lower risks for injuries in children ages 1 to 2 who road in rear-facing car seats. In 2017, industry experts raised questions about this study, which lead to its retraction. After examining the study again, the experts understood the data to show that rear-facing car seats do appear safer, but there isn’t enough data to show how much safer these seats really are. In addition, there isn’t enough information to support at what age it’s safest to transition a child out of a rear-facing car seat.
So what does this mean for parents and guardians? For many years, most industry safety experts have encouraged families to wait as long as possible before transitioning a child to a new type of car seat. This AAP’s policy update more accurately reflects the data and what families have been doing for a while now. It’s also an important reminder to delay moving children up to a different seat (booster, front-facing, etc.) for as long as possible.
- Children must be in a car seat in the back seat of the vehicle
- Until age 4 and 40 pounds – Must be in a car seat
- Until age 8 and more than 80 pounds in weight, or no more than 4’9” tall – Must be in a booster seat
- Less than 1 year old or less than 20 pounds – Must be in a rear-facing seat
- 1 year old and 20 pounds, but less than 4 years old or less than 40 pounds – Must use a front- or rear-facing car seat or booster seat
- 4 to 8 year olds who are between 40-80 pounds and no more than 4’9” – Must be in a front- or rear-facing car seat or booster seat
Do you have questions about your child’s car seat? Perhaps you want to make sure it is properly installed or just need a second opinion? There are a number of certified car seat technicians in the area who provide free car seat installation help and advice. Check out our related blog here on how to find one near you:
Read More: Is your child’s car seat safe?