Thursday, September 19, 2013

Child Passenger Safety Week - Sept 15-21, 2013

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Did you know that this week is Child Passenger Safety Week? I thought it would be a great time to check- is your child in the right seat? Some parents may be unaware of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) change in policy from 2011. The AAP now advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

Here is an overview of the new recommendations on car seats:

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Birth to 2 years: Your child under the age of 2 should ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing longer. 

Note: This is different from the AAP's prior recommendation of Birth to 1 year. 

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2 years through Preschool: Any child 2 years or older who has outgrown the weight or height limit for their rear-facing car seat should use a Forward-Facing car seat. This car seat should have a harness. Keep your child in this car seat for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat's manufacturer. 

Children typically outgrow these car seats between the ages of 3 and 4.

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School Aged Children: Belt-positioning booster seats are the next step for children who have outgrown their Forward-Facing car seat. This seat is to be used until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when the child has reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

Within this category of car seats, there are two different types- boosters with and without a back. My 5 year old is currently in a booster seat with a back, but I imagine he'll switch to one without a back next year.

I hope this information is helpful! If you need to have your car seat checked, go to to find a location near you. This Saturday is 'Seat Check Saturday'! 


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