by Boston Brood
A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2. Previous recommendations cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum threshold for switching to a forward-facing seat. This new advice is based in part on a University of Virginia study that found children under 2 are 75% less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are facing backwards. "A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spin of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body," explained Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report. The policy also contains updated advice for children transitioning into and out of booster seats.
In summary, the updated recommendations are:
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