Pediatricians: Keep child in rear-facing auto seat as long as possible

Ben Davidson
September 3, 2018

Natasha Young, a certified technician for nonprofit organization Safe Kids Worldwide, explains the practical reason why parents might want to change their child's seating position prematurely. Now, the organization is updating its guidelines and wants parents to keep their children in rear-facing seats until they reach the seat's maximum height and weight limit - even if they're older than 2.

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. It's tempting for many parents to move your child's auto seat around early.

"When you have your child rear-facing, their front is to the back of the auto so if there is a crash, their head, neck and spine is completely supported by that carseat", said Shaw.

According to several studies and trials in this direction, in case of an accident, the seat's hard shell can absorb the force of the crash impact and protect the children's head, spine, and neck. "It's best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible". "It's best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible". Families can call to make an appointment. "Most kids at 4 would be able to [use a rear-facing auto seat] within the weight and height limits of most of the convertible vehicle seats that are on the market", he adds. This is key in toddlers, who have large, heavy heads in proportion to their bodies.

Auto seat manufacturers are making seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they reach 40 pounds, Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, lead author of the academy's updated guidelines, said in a statement.

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Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage or milestone to the next.

She also wants to remind parents that the price of the vehicle seat is not as important as checking that it's been crash tested and meets all safety standards before purchasing a new auto seat. "You lose protection as you go from rear-facing to forward-facing, forward-facing to booster, and booster to seat belt". Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 died each day.

Hoffman told NBC News that in the previous year there has been "significant change in what we know about the relative protection of auto seats".

"Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children".

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