Doctors urge keeping kids in rear-facing car seats until age 2

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

SEATTLE -- There's new advice for parents when it comes to car and booster seats. The nation's leading pediatricians, with the American Academy Of Pediatrics, recommend parents keep their children in those seats longer.

The first recommendation may surprise parents. Pediatricians are now recommending older kids sit in a booster seat between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, basically until they're 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

The second recommendation is for car seats. Experts say keep your child in the car seat until they're age 2, instead of the current trend of 1 years old.

Pediatricians also say your baby seat should face the rear of the car instead of facing forward for as long as possible. According to the American Academy Of Pediatrics, it's safer.

Research shows children under 2 are 75-percent less likely to die or be severely hurt in a crash if they're in a rear-facing seat. These seats do a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine in a car accident.

"We've seen many cases where children suffer serious injuries to their neck or their head when they've been turned forward facing and those injuries probably could have been prevented had that child been in a rear-facing direction," said Dr. Dennis Durbin , Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia.

If your child is too big for the rear-facing seats, the academy said that child still needs to use forward-facing car seats until they are 4. Also, kids should remain in the back seat until age 13.

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