Pediatricians: Keep child in rear-facing vehicle seat as long as possible

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"And that's really why we want kids to ride rear-facing".

All children younger than 13 should ride in the back.

It's more about their weight, height and the auto seat's manufacturer instructions than a specific age milestone.

"We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right vehicle safety seat for each and every ride that we can better protect kids, and prevent tragedies", said Hoffman before adding that using children's auto seats reduces the risk of severe injury or death by 70%.

A recent report says age should not be the determining factor on when you stop putting your child into a auto seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says children should remain rear-facing in their vehicle seat for as long as possible, even past their 2nd birthday. Now, the age limit has been scratched, and the AAP recommends keeping kids in a rear-facing auto seat for "as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat".

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Once your child does make the switch to a forward-facing seat, experts agree that the child should keep using that auto seat until he or she again exceed the height and weight limits, which often is about 65 pounds.

Young said that when it comes to rear-facing seats, parents often make the mistake of turning their kids around too soon.

In this undated stock photo, a mom buckles her infant son safely into a rear facing auto seat as they get ready to drive somewhere in their vehicle. "He's already over 30 pounds, so by the time he's 2, he might be pushing it, but yeah, we'll probably keep him rear facing as long as possible".

Hoffmann told NBC News the changes come amid new research about auto safety for children. "The orientation of most parents toward milestones for their kids is that the next stage is positive", he says.

In its updated guidelines, the organization said that belt-positioning booster seats should be used until the lap and shoulder seat belts fit a child correctly.

Using the correct auto safety seat or booster seat lowers the risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent. This typically happens when a child is between 8-12 years old and at least 4 feet, 9 inches. "You lose protection as you go from rear-facing to forward-facing, forward-facing to booster, and booster to seat belt".

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