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Child safety-seat recommendations updated

Posted On Tue, March 22, 2011

Kids who enjoy sitting in the front seat likely won't welcome the newest child safety recommendations.

According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, parents should hold off putting their child in forward-facing seats until they're at least 2 years old, or they have reached the maximum height and weight for their seat.

Previously, the policy said children should be in a rear-facing seat until they were 12 months old.

"Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage to the next, but these transitions should generally be delayed until they’re necessary," said Dennis Durbin, a doctor and lead author of the policy statement and report. "A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body."

The report also recommends that children remain in booster seats until the age of 12.

The NHTSA and AAP believes the renewed recommendations will save people and auto insurance companies from costly medical and repair expenses, as children are 75 percent less likely to be injured when riding in rear-facing seats.

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