When should you switch car seat from rear to front-facing? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

When should you switch car seat from rear to front-facing?

By Annette Falconer –bio|email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – The American Academy of Pediatrics announced new recommendations on Monday that may change the way you buckle up your children.

The AAP is now recommending toddlers to stay in rear-facing seat until age two.

Knowing when to switch from a rear to front facing seat can be questionable.

"When you go to purchase a car seat, you have to read the manufacturer's recommendation," says EMS Paramedic, Vicki Atkinson.

Up to now, most car seat minimum standards were around one-year-old, and 20 lbs. Now, the AAP recommends toddlers stay rear-facing until age two.

"A lot of rear-facing car seats will go up to 34-45 pounds, but parents, well, all of us, we got in our head that one year, 20 pounds, and we switched them around like that," says Atkinson

She says they had to make the change to stop to confusion.

"In order to get rid of that confusion, to wanting to switch the child quicker, that's why they changed it up to two now," Atkinson explains.

But some East Texas parents may disagree.

"I don't see why they should still be facing rear till they're two. I feel like if they can walk, they can face the front—sit like a regular kid," says parent Dominique Royal.

But, according to a 2007 Injury Prevention Study, they found that children under 2-years are 75% less likely to die or be injured in a crash if they are rear-facing.

"If she has to ride backwards another year, that's fine. I don't care. You know, just whatever is safe for her," said parent Shasta McCarty.

McCarty says safety comes first.

"It's really whatever they say, you know, they're the boss. They know what's best, what's not best," McCarty stated.

"As so long as you keep them rear-facing from birth on till the last possible pound that the car sear allows, it's just safer for them that way," McCarty said.

Texas law says all children under eight-years-old, unless they are taller than 4'9", need to ride in some kind of restraint seat.

That falls in line with the new recommendations from the AAP.

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