The AAP, a leading resource for child health information, released a new recommendation to keep children in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old or have reached the maximum height and weight requirements. The majority of rear-facing car seats can accommodate children up to 35 lbs.
According to the AAP, children under age 2 are 75 percent safer rear facing than forward facing and in the second year of life are five times less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash if rear facing than forward facing.
While parents may have concerns about the comfort of their children’s limbs, the AAP reports that only about 1 in 1,000 children who are rear-facing will suffer a lower extremity injury, while the rate is much higher for forward facing children.
For children of all ages, the back seat is always the safest place to ride. Those 4’9” and under and between 8 and 12 years old should ride in a booster seat.
The new recommendation was developed using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Swedish studies that demonstrate dramatically reduced injury and death rates of children who remain rear facing until age 4.
Florida law requires children to be in rear-facing seats until age 1 or 20 lbs. There is no booster law in the state. Car accidents are a leading cause of death for children.
For a low-cost car seat or to have your seat checked for proper installation, contact the following:
• Florida Highway Patrol, 904-695-4115 x232
• Safe Kids Northeast Florida, 904-202-4302