Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for children 4 years and older. The AAP updated the Child Passenger Safety policy statement and technical report based on new evidence gathered over the past 10 years. The documents will be published in the November issue of Pediatrics (2018). The updated guidance advises children to ride rear-facing as long as possible. Two years of age is no longer a specific age criterion when a child changes from a rear- to a forward-facing car safety seat. View the AAP article at http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/08/30/passengersafety083018
Angela Osterhuber, Ed.M., Director, PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project (TIPP) offers this advice:
• Secure infants and toddlers in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. In Pennsylvania, children younger than two years must be secured in a rear-facing car seat.
• Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat that has an active passenger-side front air bag. If the airbag inflates, it will hit the back of the car seat, right where the baby's head rests, and could cause serious injury or death.
• Traveling rear-facing is safer than forward-facing.
• Call TIPP at 800/CAR-BELT x24 (in PA) for help with questions about the new recommendations.
Car seats must be used correctly to properly protect your child in a crash. The AAP’s parent magazine, HealthyChildren.org, has an article titled Car Seat Checkup with other car seat tips for parents. such as:
• The safest place for all children younger than 13 years to ride is in the back seat regardless of weight and height.
• If an older child must ride in the front seat, putting the child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness may be the best choice. Be sure you move the vehicle seat as far back from the dashboard (and airbag) as possible.
Find more car seat information at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx
Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2021