Docs: Keep Kids In Rear-Facing Seats Until 2, Booster Seats Until They're Old Enough To Steal Car

The goodhearted folks at the American Academy of Pediatrics have revised their 2002 recommendations for how long children should remain in rear-facing car seats. You can probably guess they didn’t shorten that amount of time.

The previous guidelines had given 12 months and 20 pounds as minimum guidelines for flipping kids’ seats around. But in a new article in the journal Pediatrics, the group says most kids should be kept in rear-facing seats until at least two years of age.

The AAP claims that research shows children under 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are in rear-facing child restraints.

Also of note are the recommendations the doctors make regarding how long children should ride in safety seats in general. They recommend that booster seats be used until your child gets to 4 feet 9 inches (a height yours truly didn’t reach until eighth grade).

And keep your kids in the back seat until they’ve hit 13.

“There are certain things I’m willing to negotiate — bedtime, teeth brushing, broccoli for dinner — but safety is nonnegotiable,” said the study’s chief author. “If parents establish that early in life, they’ll get less pushback over time.”

What do you think of these recommendations? How old were you when mom and dad finally let you ride in the front seat?

An about-face on front-facing child safety seats [L.A. Times]

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