AAP releases new auto seat recommendations

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The American Academy of Pediatrics changed its recommendations on how long children should remain in a rear-facing auto seat in a new policy statement called, "Child Passenger Safety".

Many young children older than 2 years old might whine about not upgrading to a "big kid" auto seat yet, but parents can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their child is a safe as possible in the back seat.

Many parents agree, saying they think it's a good idea to keep their child rear facing until they reach a certain height and weight.

Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, is the lead author of the new policy statement.

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"The longer they face rear-facing, the safer it is", said Squillacioti. "This is still the safest way for children to ride".

The above video shows how a rear-facing seat can absorb a simulated crash compared to one that's forward facing.

Children should remain in rear-facing seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat manufacturer. "This is still the safest way for children to ride", Hoffman added in the statement released by the AAP.

She also wants to remind parents that the price of the auto seat is not as important as checking that it's been crash tested and meets all safety standards before purchasing a new vehicle seat.

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Previously, parents were told children could graduate to front-facing seats at age 2. According to AAA, kids 1 to 2 years old are five times less likely to die or sustain a serious injuries in a crash when they're strapped into a rear-facing seat.

Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage or milestone to the next. This is typically when they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 to 12 years old. The new findings are based on child size rather than age.

Using the correct vehicle safety seat or booster seat lowers the risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent. "You lose protection as you go from rear-facing to forward-facing, forward-facing to booster, and booster to seat belt".

In the last decade, there have been significant reductions in the number of children killed in auto accidents, but such incidences remain to be the top cause of death in children below 4 years old.

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