Maybe it’s because I have three small grandchildren, but these days I find myself paying much more attention to articles about children’s car seats. In recent news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised its child restraint guidelines so that they categorize by age rather than by type of child seat. The result is that “NHTSA is advising parents and care givers to keep children in each restraint type, including rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seats, for as long as possible before moving them up to the next type of seat,” according to a statement published by the federal agency.
This news is in concert with the latest advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In the most recent policy statement issued by AAP, the group now recommends that parents keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they exceed the height or weight limit for the car seat, which can be found on the back of the seat.
The NHTSA says all children under 13 should ride in the back seat and children in rear-facing car seats should never be placed in a seat where an air bag could suddenly inflate.