POSTED: Monday, March 21, 2011 - 9:07am
UPDATED: Monday, December 12, 2011 - 8:47am
Doctors suggest new rules for kids and car seats.
There's new advice this morning for parents of young children about when you should turn your babies' car seats around to face the front.
Many parents mark their children's first birthday by turning their infants' car seats from rear-racing to looking forward.
It's been the general rule of thumb until now.
Dr. Dennis Durbin of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia says "all infants and toddlers should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age or until they outgrow the weight and height limits of their car seat."
Dr. Dennis Durbin is the lead author of a new American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement. He says keeping young children in the rear-facing position for as long as possible will help protect their head and neck in the event of an accident.
Dr. Durbin says "we've seen many cases where children suffer serious injuries to their neck or their head when they've been turned forward facing and those injuries probably could have been prevented had that child been in a rear-facing direction."
And even though they're older, and bigger, kids up until age 2 should be able to fit in most car seats.
Dr. Durbin says "the childhood obesity epidemic has already spurred car seat manufacturers to make design changes to their seats to accommodate heavier children."
State child safety seat laws will not automatically reflect the recommended change. But the hope is that parents will take it upon themselves to create new rules for their own families.
The new recommendations say older children should be in a booster seat until they're 4-feet, 9-inches tall and are between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. Kids should remain in the back seat until age 13.