National Child Passenger Safety Week
September 18 - 24, 2011

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) would like to take this opportunity to remind pediatricians and parents of the AAP recommendations for safe transportation of children.

  • 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 the manufacturer of their car safety seat. Children who have outgrown an infant-only seat should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat.
  • 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 the manufacturer of their car safety seat.
  • 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 lap-and-shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age. For more information about safe transportation of children who have outgrown their car safety seats, please see the AAP/Partners for Child Passenger Safety Issue Report on Booster Seats PDF.
  • 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. Seat belts fit properly when they can be worn with the lap portion of the belt low and snug across the thighs, and the shoulder portion across the chest and shoulder without cutting across the face and neck while sitting against the vehicle seat back with feet comfortably hanging down.

Remember that all children age 12 years and younger are safest in the back seat.

Information on restraining children properly

AAP Policy on child passenger safety

Further information on child passenger safety