Serious car accidents happen every day. And despite our best efforts, we cannot stop every dangerous driver from causing a crash.
However, there are things that motorists can do to stay safer in the event of a motor vehicle accident. One such step is to ensure everyone is buckled up properly, including and especially our children in the back seat. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics made a slight adjustment to their recommendations regarding children in rear-facing car seats that they feel could save the lives of toddlers.
Removal of age guidelines
Previously, the AAP recommended that children remain in rear-facing car seats until at least the age of two. However, they recently removed age as a guideline and instead urge parents to keep children rear-facing until they reach the height and weight recommendations established by the car seat manufacturer.
While the new recommendations may seem frustrating or unnecessary for parents of young children, they reflect research that shows that infants and toddlers are safer in a rear-facing seat.
What parents can do
Parents should examine the restrictions on their child's car seat. Look at the type of seat it is and figure out the height and weight guidelines.
If a child is getting too tall or heavy for a seat, make the switch to the next seat. If a child is within the guidelines for a specific seat in a specific position, then resist the temptation to move a child to a new positions or larger seat.
If an accident does occur
Car seats provide critical protection to our most vulnerable passengers, so it is crucial that they be installed, secured and used properly to maximize the protection they provide. Because unfortunately, no matter how safe a parent is behind the wheel, there is no guarantee that others on the road will take the same precautions.
There are drunk, drowsy, distracted and reckless drivers on the road. And while we can't stop every accident they cause, we can take action to protect ourselves and minimize injuries in the event of a crash.