Wisconsin Child Car Seat Laws Don’t Reflect Recommendations Of Medical Experts

American Academy Of Pediatrics Recommends Using Rear-Facing Seats Until Age 2

Photo: Shannon Smith (CC-BY-NC-SA).

Wisconsin law on child safety seats doesn’t entirely reflect what medical experts say is the best way to protect kids.

In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines to say children should be in rear-facing car seats until age 2. Wisconsin law, however, requires that until age 1 — which is how most parents are doing it, according to The National Poll on Children’s Health. Three-quarters of parents it surveyed said they turn their child car seats to face forward too early.

“What happens is when a child is rear-facing in a car seat (is) the car seat actually absorbs the force of the crash,” said Nicole Vesely, who coordinates Safe Kids Madison. “When you turn a child forward, all of that force of the crash is on their head and neck.”

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Vesely said studies show kids are five times safer in rear-facing seats.