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Offered by: Dr. Jamie Campbell – Premier Pediatrics

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reported that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children over the age of 4 and are the 2nd leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. Studies repeatedly show that use of child safety seats/booster seats can significantly decrease risk of death and/or serious injury when compared with age matched peers restrained by seat belts alone. But we already knew car seats work, so what else can we do!?

While the state laws of Colorado remain relatively unchanged, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published an updated policy statement in August 2018, “Child Passenger Safety.” This policy statement outlines the 5 best practices to optimize child passenger safety.

The largest change in the policy statement is to remain rear facing as long as possible. Rear facing car seats support the head and neck and allow the force of impact in an accident to be distributed to the car seat. When forward facing, the body is restrained and the head is able to move freely on a proportionally smaller neck, allowing for possible neck and spine injury. So although many parents are eager to let their little one stretch their legs and see the sites, it may come at the expense of increased risk of injury if transitioned prematurely.

Parent Resources: healthychildren.org, American Academy of Pediatrics, and DMV.org.

For more information, talk with your child’s Pediatrician for the most up to date recommendations based on age and size at your next check up!

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