For parents eagerly anticipating that 12-month, 20 pound mark when they can finally turn their baby’s rear-facing car seat forward, they will now have to buckle down with even more patience. On March 21, 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced updated recommendations for car seats that have already created quite a stir amongst parents.
In the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics, released online on March 21, AAP is now advising 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,” (AAP Newsroom).
A look at why AAP has made this recommendation is because rear-facing car seats do a “better job of supporting the head, neck, and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body,” according to Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report.
Dr. Durbin went on to add that the age 2 recommendation is a guideline, not a hard and fast rule, as smaller children will benefit from the rear-facing car seat, whereas other children might reach the maximum height and weight before the age of 2. It’s encouraging to learn this information, as the two local moms who discussed these updated recommendations with this Examiner were most concerned over “the fit factor.”
However, the updated booster seat recommendations have spurred the most conversation, as Twitter is all aflutter with individuals wondering if recommendations of 4 feet 9 inches tall and between the ages 8 and 12 aren’t “too extreme.”
- What do you think about AAP’s new recommendations?
And remember, Koren Bloom, the Safe Kids Yellowstone County Coordinator, informed us back in January that Montana currently has legislation in the works that could bump Montana’s child booster seat requirements to at least 8-years-old and 80 pounds.
- How would that impact your family? How do you think your child who had been out of a booster seat would react?
To learn more about safely securing your child within her car seat and in your car, go to:
- Car seat safety tips and check-up events in Billings or
- Healthy Children – Car Safety Seats: Information for Families for 2011
Additionally, there is a Check-up Event scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at William R Lower Child Enrichment Center, located at 2630 Normal Avenue in Billings. According to the Safe Kids Yellowstone County site, Normal Ave is by the MSU-Billings main campus and can only be accessed off of Rimrock Road.
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