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      New safety seat guidelines for tots, kids and tweens

      Babies up to the age of two should ride in rear-facing car seats.

      Parents, pay attention: the American Academy of Pediatrics has new, stricter recommendations for how toddlers, kids, even tweens should ride in your car.

      "All infants and toddlers should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years of age or until they outgrow the weight and height limits of their car seat," said Dr. Dennis Durbin, authored new policies for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

      The old rule of thumb was one year of age but the recommendation really has more to do with weight than age-- so pay attention to capacity limits on your child's rear-facing seat. It is for their safety.

      "We've seen many cases where children suffer serious injuries to their neck or their head when they've been turned forward facing and those injuries probably could have been prevented had that child been in a rear-facing direction," said Durbin.

      The recommendations continue for kids a little older.

      "Children should stay in booster seats minimally until 4'9" but really until they can fit properly in that car-- with the seat belt hitting across their hip bones versus their stomach and the shoulder strap hitting across their clavicle versus their stomach," said Erin Whitton, Toledo Children's Hospital.

      Your tweens are not off the hook either: they should stay out of the front seat until they are 13.

      "40 to 70% of children under 13 are injured because they are in the front seat," said Whitton.

      If all this sounds like too much to process, you can always make an appointment to get your child seating situation checked by expert like those at Toledo Children's Hospital.

      "75% of seats are in incorrect and so we really help parents to really understand a little bit more about their car seat, really use them to the fullest and understand who should be riding and who shouldn't be in different seats," said Whitton.

      Above all, experts say you should pay very close attention to the instructions by your child safety seat manufacturer and the instructions in your vehicle's manual.

      Full List of Updated AAP Recommendations:

      Infants/Toddlers: Infant seats and rear-facing convertible seats

      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 safety seat TMs manufacturer.

      Toddlers/Preschoolers: Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses

      All children 2 years or older, or those younger than 2 years 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 TMs manufacturer.

      School-aged children: Booster seats

      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 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

      Older children: Seat belts

      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.

      All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the Rear Seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

      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.

      All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the Rear Seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

      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.

      All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the Rear Seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

      Call (419) 291-7945 to make a free appointment with the safety seat experts at Toledo Children's Hospital.

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