New Car Seat Safety Guidelines

Mother Putting Baby Son Into Car Travel Seat

Attention moms! There are new recommendations about car seat safety. Specifically, how long you need to keep your tot rear facing and updates for kids in booster seats. 

These new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were just announced, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard about them yet. This is breaking news!

Here are the new recommendations:

New rear-facing recommendation: Parents should keep children rear-facing until 2 years old, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the seat as noted in the manual.

It was widely accepted that you kept your child rear facing until they were 1 year old and 20 pounds, but many studies have suggested that placing a child that young and small forward facing in their car seat is dangerous and even deadly. 

I know some of you mamas might be a little disappointed in this change, especially if your little one hates riding in the car, but 2 years is going to fly by. And putting up with fussy toddler is no big deal compared to keeping your kid as safe as possible, so hang in there!

If you feel your baby is outgrowing their infant carrier, there are convertible car seats available that are designed to be installed rear and forward facing. Here are some tips on how to choose the right car seat for you.

New Boostering Recommendation: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster (that means a high-back!) until they are at least 4 foot, 9 inches, AND 8-12 years old. 

FYI moms- Even though it’s not included in the new recommendations, best practice is to also keep your child in a booster until they are 80-100 pounds. 

While it’s hard to imagine a 12-year old putting up with being strapped into a booster seat, it’s important to remember that seat belts are designed for average-size adults and most preteens aren’t that big. Also, before you consider moving an older child out of a booster altogether, make sure they pass all five steps in the 5-step test. 

How do you feel about the new car seat recommendations? Do you think they are too strict or do you plan on following them?