About three quarters of parents turn their child’s car seat from rear-facing to a forward-facing position before their child’s second birthday, according to a new University of Michigan study published this week in the journal Academic Pediatrics.
But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under age two ride in a rear-facing car seat to keep them safe in the event of a collision. That’s important because motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death and injury among young children.
This study was conducted as part of two National Poll on Children’s Health surveys. The first survey was conducted in 2011, which is the year the American Academy of Pediatrics revised their guidelines about child passenger safety to say children should remain rear-facing until age two. The second survey was conducted in 2013.
In 2011, only 16% of parents of 1-4-year-old children said they had waited until their child was two years or older to turn their car seat to a forward-facing position. The 2013 survey showed improvement, but still only 23% of parents said they waited until their child was two or older to turn their car seat to face forward. Learn more about this study here: Almost three-quarters of parents turn car seats to face forward too early.