Car and Booster Seats: The New Guidelines

A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine this month looked at nearly 22,000 children and found that just 3 percent of children between ages 1 and 3 were restrained properly in their car seats, and only 10 percent of 8 to 10-year-old children were properly restrained in a booster seat or a car seat.

Rear facing car seat 300x199 Car and Booster Seats: The New Guidelines Photo

Children under age 2 should sit in rear-facing car seats.

The researchers believe the lack of adherence to the guidelines is due to a lack of knowledge and confusion over the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, which are more strict than state guidelines.

Here are the latest child safety recommendations from the AAP:

  • Until age 2, children should sit in rear-facing car seats.
  • Children over age 2 should sit in front-facing car seats with harnesses until their weight and height exceeds the car seat’s capacity.
  • After a child exceeds a car seat’s weight and height capacity, a booster seat should be used until a child is 57 inches tall, which is the height of an average 11-year-old.
  • Children shouldn’t sit in the front seat until they’re 13 years old.

For more information on children’s health and safety issues, find the right pediatrician for you with the Vitals Doctor Finder.