Changes in Car Seat Guidelines Hope to Lessen Injuries

In hopes of averting some of the devastating injuries children suffer in car accidents, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) updated their recommendations for car seat use. Now all infants are recommended to remain in rear-facing car seats until they reach the age of two. Research indicates that rear-facing seats provide infants with needed support for their head and neck, which are susceptible to injuries in most car accidents.

In addition to the change regarding infants’ car seat use, the NHSA also updated their guidelines for elementary school children. Previously, parents were told to keep children in booster seats until they were 8. The updated recommendations, which are based upon size rather than age, indicate that booster seats should be used until a child is at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.

As personal injury attorneys practicing in Florida, we find it sad that although 47 states mandate that older children use booster seats, Florida has no such requirement. The lack of such a requirement places too many of our kids in danger. We certainly hope the legislature addresses this oversight.

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