Thursday, April 7, 2011

News From the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program

Safe Kids Montgomery County and Montgomery County Fire Rescue’s Car Seat Program are very pleased with the latest car seat recommendations developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that were released on March 21, 2011. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also revised their recommendations for release on the same day. The changes reflect what our car seat program has been advising caregivers to do for the past two and a half years. The policy encourages caregivers to slow the transition from one child restraint to the next. The biggest change for many is the recommendation that children should remain in rear-facing car seats until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for their car seat model, or at least the age of two. The new best practice recommendations are listed below. The AAP also suggests to pediatricians that they consult with certified car seat technicians for their expertise. If you have questions regarding these changes, please call Emilie Crown at 240-777-2467 or schedule an appointment with one of our certified car seat technicians by calling 240-777-2223.

· Best practice recommendation #1 states, “All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat (CSS) until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their CSS.”

· Best practice recommendation #2 states, “All children 2 years or older, or those younger than 2 years who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their CSS, should use a forward-facing CSS with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their CSS.”

· Best practice recommendation #3 states, “All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their CSS should use a belt-positioning-booster until the vehicle lap-and-shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.”

· Best practice recommendation #4 states, “When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap-and-shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.”

· Best practice recommendation #5 states, “All children younger than 13 years of age should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.”

Links for additional information: for information from NHTSA for more information from AAP

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