|Disneyland parking structure after a LONG day.|
The summer travel season is just around the corner and with it come new car seat safety recommendations from the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Among those new recommendations are guidelines for children under two, use for booster seats, and older age for front seat use.
In the journal Pediatrics, the AAP recently referenced research that shows children under 2 who ride in rear-facing child restraints are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash. In addition, the AAP has also suggested that children remain in a seat with a five-point safety harness until they reach the weight and height limit of that harness. (My kids have seats that go up to somewhere around 100 pounds!) The AAP has suggested that children should use boosters until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall (about 8-12 years old). And finally, the AAP has also set forth the guideline that children should not ride in the front of the car until they are 13 years old.
Struggling with car seats and car travel is a daily task for all parents. For me, I know that it is nothing short of exhausting having to lift my three kids in and out of the car and their seats day after day. Admittedly, we probably moved our oldest son out of his car seat and into a booster seat too early. We did so because we though he was tall enough (…and I was desperate for at least one kid to be able to buckle himself in…), but it turns out that he was likely not heavy enough and should have still been in his car seat. We were ignorant. I will be reevaluating my car seating arrangements and not turning the baby forward in his seat come his birthday next month. When it comes down to it, my kids lives are worth the little extra effort on my part having to lift and unbuckle them.
These new guidelines are not mandatory. That being said, will you follow the new guidelines? Will your child ride rear facing until two years old? Will you move your child from his or her car seat to a booster even though they may meet or almost meet the requirement for the booster? Will your older kids ride upfront before they turn 13? I would love to hear your thoughts.
When my friend Renata and her family travel to Disneyland for the day and plan to stay late, she packs her boys’ pajamas for the car ride home. After a quick wipe down of hands and face just before settling into the car already dressed in PJs, she and her husband can quickly and easily tuck the children straight into bed from the car upon arriving home. Sounds like a good plan to me!!!
Do you have any time savers that you pack that make car travel for day trips easier? Let us know on our Facebook page and we may use your tip in an upcoming post!