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I have written before on how to select a child safety seat and how to install a child car seat.

Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have issued updated recommendations for child car seat safety.

Learn More:New advice: Tots safest in rear-facing car seats until age 2 [Carla K. Johnson at AP via The Today Show]

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The new recommendations include:

  1. Children who have outgrown front-facing car seats should ride in booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits them properly (Children usually outgrow a booster seat at the height of 4’9")
  2. Children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat
  3. Children should remain in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2

The AP article suggests that one-year-olds are 5 times less likely to be injured in a crash if they are in a rear-facing car seat than in a forward-facing seat.

Toddlers have relatively large heads and small necks. In a front-facing car seat, the force of a crash can jerk the child’s head causing spinal cord injuries.

Amazingly, 3 out of 4 car seats are not installed and used correctly.

There is something inherently wrong with a product that is misused 75% of the time — especially when the product is as critical as child’s safety car seat.

Once parents have selected a proper car seat, it is critical that the car seat is installed correctly.

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison

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