While 1 year and 20 pounds used to be the standard for when to flip car seats around, most experts now recommend using rear-facing child seats until children are 2 years old and reach the car seat manufacturer's top weight and height recommendations, which are typically around 30 pounds and 36 inches. From there, parents can choose whether to continue rear-facing or convert to a forward-facing seat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under 4 years old not be placed in front-facing cars seats unless they are being transported by a parent or guardian who has been trained on how to use them safely. The reason is that young infants may become entangled in the harness system used for safety in front-facing vehicles.
There have been several reports of infants being injured or killed after being placed in front-facing cars seats. Parents are encouraged to follow their car seat manufacturer's instructions on how to correctly install their product. If you have any questions about how to install a car seat properly, contact a certified car seat technician or visit your local auto parts store for help.
For this statistically average size of child, most harnessed car seats would be outgrown by height long before weight. A child in the 95th percentile for weight would likely reach 60 pounds somewhere between ages 6 and 7. That same child would likely reach 80 lbs somewhere between 8 and 9 years old...assuming they grow at the same rate as the average child.
The America's Health Rankings Report gives estimates on how many people in the United States will die in different year groups, from 2000 to 2019. The report also gives estimates on what proportion of children live past each age group.
Infants and toddlers should be secured in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat until they reach the maximum weight and height restrictions of their car seat for the best potential protection. For weight and height limitations, see the car seat instructions and the labeling on the seat. If you are not sure whether your car seat meets these requirements, call the manufacturer's customer service number listed in the materials provided with the car seat.
In addition to meeting the requirements of his or her car seat, infants and young children need to be safely restrained by a child safety seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recommended that babies under 1 year old not ride in cars alone. If you are going to be driving more than 10 minutes away from home, it is also advisable to bring along a booster seat for older children. The NHTSA recommends that children use adult size safety seats until they turn 4 years old and are able to sit upright in an adult size seat without assistance.
Young children can be injured when riding in the back seat of a vehicle. Back injuries are the most common type of injury for children under 5 years old. To reduce the risk of back injuries, never place a child in the back seat if there is not enough room for him or her to lie down or sit up straight.
Between the ages of 2 and 4 1/2 months, most younger newborns can stand up with help and bear some weight on their legs. This is a normal and harmless developmental stage that will lead to their pulling up independently and will not result in bow-legs. Between the ages of 13 and 17 months, the majority of toddlers can walk backwards.
Around age 2, many children learn to run and this process can cause pain if they do not develop properly. In fact, around one in five children will experience running shoes when they are between the ages of 5 and 7. If you notice your child struggling with their footing while walking or running, be sure to get them checked by a physician first before offering them any advice. Children's bones are still developing into their final form, so it is important that they are allowed to explore their environment without being hurt by objects that might catch onto their skin where there is no muscle to protect them.
Running can also cause other problems such as ankle injuries and stress fractures. If your child complains of pain when walking or running, they may be at risk for developing these issues. It is important to seek medical attention if you observe your child experiencing pain when moving forward of backward. Doctors will be able to identify whether or not your child is suffering from leg-length inequality by taking measurements and conducting tests. They will also be able to prescribe exercises to strengthen their muscles as well as prevent further injury.
Children's bodies are different than those of adults.