Hey, Kids: You're Stuck in Back Seat Til Age 13
Academy of pediatrics ups age guidelines for car seats
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 8:52 AM CDT
Parents shouldn't be in a hurry to move their kids from one stage of car riding to the next, the AAP says.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Cue the choruses of, "Oh mom, do I have to?": The American Academy of Pediatrics has cracked down its carseat guidelines, reports the Washington Post, and they're likely to cause plenty of bickering. Among them:

  • All children should sit in the back seat until they are 13 years old
  • Children under 13 should use booster seats until they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall, or big enough to fit seatbelts properly
  • Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the seat's maximum height and weight.

"A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck, and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body," the report's lead author explains. The AAP notes that while car-crash fatality rates for children have plummeted over the last decade, crashes are still the leading cause of death for children over 4.