The new guidelines, which will be published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics, have several changes in the recommendations for car seat usage.
- All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear facing car safety seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat's manufacturer.
- All children 2 years or older, or those who have outgrown the rear facing weight or height limit for their car safety seat, should use a forward facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat's manufacturer.
- All children whose weight or height is above the forward facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 ft 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years old.
- When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should use a lap and shoulder belt. All children younger than 13 should be restrained in the rear seat of the vehicle.
For more information or questions on the policy change, please call 1-800-CAR-BELT.