March 21, 2011
New guidelines for parents say children should ride in rear-facing car seats longer, until they are two years old instead of one. And some kids should ride in booster seats until age 12.
That's the advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The doctors group and the federal agency issued separate but consistent new recommendations Monday.
Both organizations say older children who've outgrown front-facing car seats should ride in booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits them. Booster seat or not, children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
The advice is based on evidence from crashes. For older children, poorly fitting seat belts can cause abdominal and spine injuries in a crash.