Children should remain in car seats for twice as long — until the ages of 2 instead of 1 — according to new recommendations issued this week by the federal government. MSNBC reports children younger than 13 should ride in the back and those as old as 12 should ride in booster seats.
“Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage to the next, but these transitions should generally be delayed until they’re necessary, when the child fully outgrows the limits for his or her current stage,” said Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers urge parents to take the new, updated recommendations seriously. The Beacon-News reports that children should now remain in rear-facing car seats until they’re 2-years-old, or until they’ve reached the maximum height and weight requirements of the seat’s manufacturer. Previously, the recommendations were for children under a year old.
Once a child has reached the age of 2, or has outgrown their current seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends a booster seat until a child is 8-years-old or reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches, whichever comes later. The government recommends children stay in the backseat until they’re 12, according to the report in the Los Angeles Times.
The new car seat regulations come after new research found that children are actually safer in rear-facing car seats. The research, conducted by Injury Prevention, found that children under the age of 2, who are seated in rear-facing car seats during a car accident, are 75 perfect less likely to die or suffer a severe injury.
We frequently report that Chicago car accidents are a leading cause of serious and fatal injuries to children over the age of 3. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 34 children under the age of 14 died in Illinois car accidents in 2009 — 19 of those were under the age of 7.
According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 184,000 children were severely injured in car accidents last year — more than 1,300 died.
“Parents are always looking for the next stage of development because in every other scenario, that’s a good thing. With car safety seats, however, that’s often not the case,” said Ben Hoffman, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
An instructional pamphlet about car seat recommendations for children is available for you from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If your child has been injured in a Chicago car accident, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.