- By Vivien Williams
Mayo Clinic Minute: Are you keeping your child as safe as possible in the car?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 12. To help keep kids as safe as possible, the American Academy of Pediatrics published new car seat recommendations. Kim Lombard, an injury prevention coordinator at Mayo Clinic, says the new guidelines have to do with keeping kids in car seats according to the weight and height limits of the seats themselves, instead of ages of the kids.
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Research shows that car seats save lives.
“We want to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible,” says Lombard.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay in rear-facing car seats until they reach the maximum height and weight limits for each the car seat.
“The previous recommendations were to keep children rear-facing up until age 2.”
Kids come in different sizes, and Lombard says paying attention to height and weight limits ensures that we’re using the car seat the way it’s designed to be used.
“We need to keep them rear-facing up until they reach those max height and weight limits for their seat.”
Rear-facing car seats protect a child’s head, neck and spine in a crash. Check the car seat’s owners’ manual for height and weight limits, so you know when it’s time to move to a different model.