Parents Urged to Keep Their Children in Rear-Facing Car Seats as Long as Possible

The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated its car seat recommendation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics just changed its car seat recommendations for car seat transitions and is now urging parents to delay their child's switch from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing one for as long as possible.

If you have older children like me, you probably remember looking forward to the milestone when your child could switch from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing car seat. When my oldest child was a baby, most children (if they had reached the recommended height and weight) reached that milestone by the time they were a year old (or not long after) - the recommended age for a car seat transition at the time.

By the time my youngest was a baby, though, the recommendation had shifted to waiting until your child was at least 2 years old. 

Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is asking parents to wait as long as possible to make the switch. 

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According to "Good Morning America," "The AAP's new guidelines are encouraging parents to keep kids rear-facing until they have reached the maximum height and weight limit listed on their car seat's labels and instruction manual."

"Every month that a child rides rear-facing a little bit longer gives more time for the head, neck and spine to develop," Kerry Chausmer, the director of certification at Safe Kids, told "GMA." 

Many car seats can hold children weighing well over 40 pounds, so parents should be able to keep their children in rear-facing car seats well past their child's second birthday. 

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