AAA Urges Parents To Keep Young Children In Rear-Facing Child Safety Seats Longer

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FLORHAM PARK — During National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 19 – 25), AAA encourages parents and caregivers to keep children seated, safe and secure when riding in motor vehicles. As part of its Seated, Safe & Secure initiative, AAA advises parents of infants and young toddlers to secure their children in rear-facing child safety seats for as long as possible, maxing out the upper weight or height limits of the seat.

Researchers indicate that toddlers are 75 percent less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash when they ride in a rear-facing seat up to their second birthday.


To educate parents and caregivers about proper installation and use of child safety seats, nationally certified child passenger safety technicians at the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club will conduct free child safety seat checks on Saturday, September 25 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the AAA Car Care Center in Springfield (135 Route 22 East). The event is part of the nationwide “Seat Check Saturday” initiative.

“AAA’s safety advice to parents is rooted in available scientific evidence, and the latest research clearly shows that child should remain rear-facing as long as possible,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs for the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. “We have a critical opportunity to save young lives by empowering parents to follow these new guidelines.”

AAA recommends the following child passenger safety best practices:

  • Always read both the car seat manufacturer and the vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Keep children rear-facing as long as possible-into their second year of life until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seat (usually around 30-35 pounds).
  • Once children outgrow the upper weight and height limits of the rear-facing seat, they can ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children should use a forward-facing child safety seat until they reach the maximum weight or height for the harness (usually between 40-65 pounds).
  • Children should ride in a booster seat until age 8 or older, unless they are at least 4’9″ tall (usually between 8 and 12 years of age) and vehicle safety belts fit properly.
  • For all children under age 13, the back seat is the safest place.

For more information on AAA’s child passenger safety resources for parents and caregivers, visit

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