New Child Seat Safety Guidelines

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BY JENNIFER MECKLES You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. It used to be a ce...
BY JENNIFER MECKLES You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. It used to be a celebrated milestone for parents -- your child turns a year old and you turn the car seat to face forward. A few years later, time for a booster seat -- then eventually a real seat belt. But now the American Academy of Pediatrics -- or AAP -- is pushing back all those traditional transitions -- saying kids need to wait longer. And that could mean major headaches for parents. HLN explains the new rules: “Pediatricians now say you should keep toddlers in the rear facing seat until at least until they’re two. It used to be until they’re one, or twenty pounds. Also experts are saying, kids should ride in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old and 4 feet, 9 inches tall.” Most media outlets reported this story with a proper car-seat buckling demonstration, explaining it’s all about size and weight. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta uses a real toddler to show how -- the smaller the kid, the more at risk they are for injury. “What they're saying, though, if you look at a rear-facing car seat, if there's an accident, the force is sort of distributed across the body as opposed to just on the head here. That's what they say makes all the difference.” The AAP also recommends new rules for the older kids, specifically -- children up to age 13 should remain in the back seat. And that’s where the headaches come in... A doctor on Chicago’s WFLD tells parents -- good luck enforcing that one: DR. SALZMAN: “The other recommendation is that children 13 years and younger should try to remain in the back seat. [laughs] Try to tell a 13-year-old to remain in the back seat. I don’t know you’ll get that.” ANCHOR: “That's the one that parents probably have the most trouble with.” DR. SALZMAN: “Yes. You don't want to cut corners. One of the physicians interviewed said -- broccoli is negotiable. This is negotiable. But safety is not negotiable. We're talking about life and death stuff here.” While most parents understand that -- it’s not making THEIR jobs any easier. Whether dealing with toddlers or teenagers, here are just a few responses to the new guidelines: A writer for Stroller Traffic tweets: “Seriously? I can't imagine keeping my son in a rear-facing car seat until he's 2. Ugh. I mean, I get it. But, UGH.” A Dallas mother debates both sides on MyDFWMommy blog: “On one hand, I am saddened because babies seem so much happier when they can see the world the way we do... On the other hand, if rear facing is safer, I want my baby as safe as possible!” And a writer for BlogHer has concerns about booster seats for 12-year olds: “I'm not saying that I don't value my kids' safety. I do. But with safety seats ‘expiring’ after five years... it can get pricey to keep a genetically small-boned, shorter child in a seat until that age.” Still on the fence? In a last ditch effort to convince parents, the New York Times tells the story of how one family’s strict car seat rules saved their children’s lives: “The couple and their three children … were broad-sided by a car that had had a blowout. Their minivan flipped into the air, sailed over three lanes of traffic and landed on the shoulder, upside down... they found ... all three children suspended upside down, still securely strapped in their car seats.” TIME reports all states already have laws in place requiring car seats up to age four -- but the new policy means those laws will be out of date. So what do you think? Are the new rules helpful -- or just a headache? Follow Newsy on Twitter Newsy_Videos for daily updates in your stream. Get more multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. Transcript by Newsy.
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