New Guidelines Say Children Should Ride In Rear-Facing Car Seats Until 2

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — 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 the NHTSA and the AAP says children should ride rear-facing until 2 or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their care safety seat’s manufacturer.

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.

Read the recommendations from the NHTSA, the AAP or check out the car seat guide for parents from

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • RebelMom

    I’m all for safer children, but it should be about size, not age. My youngest was in a size 2T (off the growth charts for height and weight) by his first birthday. He had his knees up his nose in a rear-facing seat. I can’t even imagine cramming him backwards until he was 2-where are his legs supposed to go?

  • Suzi

    This is not new information, nor the first time each agency has posted these guidelines.

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