New federal child seat guidelines

A pediatricians’ group has issued new recommendations that could extend the use of child seats in cars for passengers well into their 30s.

Retired (for now) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre says he still prefers to ride in the comfort of his booster seat, although he recently switched to the forward-facing seat "so I could see what's going on."

The statement’s lead author, Dr. Dennis R. Durbin, scientific co-director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said, “If he’s rear-facing, his entire body is better supported by the shell of the car seat. When he’s forward-facing, his shoulders and trunk may be well restrained, but in a violent crash, his head and neck can fly forward.” (Real quote ripped from New York Times news pages.)

Concerned parents are advised to keep their little ones strapped and bubble-wrapped and facing backward at least until they outgrow those awkward teenage years.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve treated teenagers who fell out of their regular car seats without the proper restraints,” one family doctor said. ‘They’re just so clumsy and careless.” (Made-up quote)

It does make driver’s ed a challenge, doctors and driving instructors admitted.

“Our recommendations are meant to help parents move away from gospel-held notions that are based on a child’s age,” Dr. Durbin said. “We want them to recognize that with each transition they make, from rear-facing to forward-facing, to booster seats, there is a decline in the safety of their child. That’s why we are urging parents to delay these transitions for as long as possible.” (Real quote ripped from news pages.)

“People cheer when they turn their kid around at one year, but hopefully some day they’ll cheer at how long they were able to keep their child rear-facing,” said Debbi Baer, a labor and delivery nurse in Baltimore who has been a car safety advocate for children for more than 30 years. (Real quote ripped from news pages.)

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