In the ideal world, motor vehicle accidents would never happen. In today’s world, however, residents in Washington State know that accidents can and do happen. Therefore, being prepared by taking precautions to reduce injuries in the event of a crash is not only an important thing to do but is also the responsible thing to do. For parents, relatives or caregivers who transport children, care should be taken to ensure that the proper safety seats are used.
For a while, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents keep their children in rear-facing seats until they were 24 months old. However, the AAP has recently issued a new set of recommendations. People are now encouraged to keep children in seats that can be positioned facing the rear of a vehicle for as long as the children are able to fit properly in the seats. For many children, this may be well past their second birthdays.
Research has found that rear-facing child seats provide the best protection for the spines, necks and heads of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged kids during vehicle accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, today’s car seat models are commonly available in multiple types that allow children to be rear-facing. One of these is the infant seat which can be used in the early months of a baby’s life. Convertible seats allow children to be seated both facing the rear and facing the front as they grow. All-in-one car seats can also eventually be used as booster seats for older children so that they sit high enough to allow standard seat belts to fit them properly.