New AAP Car Seat Rules: Read the Report Before You Buy

New policy statements from the leading pediatricians' association asks parents to keep their children in rear-facing seats when traveling in the car until age 2, or until they reach the height and weight restrictions of these seats, and recommends that children travel only in the back seat of the family vehicle until age 13. And given that many states follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations with legislation, car seat manufacturers and consumers should take note.

At the center of this new policy recommendation is the observation by pediatricians and safety experts that "many parents turned the seat to face the front of the car when their child celebrated his or her first birthday" -- when, according to growth charts, about half of little girls and little boys would have reached 29-30 inches, or the maximum length for most infant-only rear-facing seats. Maximum weights for the seats are more variable; many children, according to growth charts, would outgrow the Evenflo Embrace, the Cosco Comfy Carry, or the Eddie Baeur Deluxe Infant Car Seat -- just to name a few -- by 8 or 9 months of age.