Doctors suggest new car seat rules - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Doctors suggest new car seat rules

(NBC) - Some new advice has been given to parents of young children about when you should turn you babies' car seats around to face the front of your vehicle.

Many parents mark their children's first birthday by turning their infant's car seat from rear-racing to forward-facing.

It's been the general rule of thumb until now.

"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 said.

Durbin is the lead author of a new American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement.

He said 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.

"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," Durbin said.

And even though they're older, and bigger, kids up until age 2 should be able to fit in most car seats.

"The childhood obesity epidemic has already spurred car seat manufacturers to make design changes to their seats to accommodate heavier children," Durbin said.

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 4'9" tall and are between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. Kids should remain in the back seat until age 13.

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