New car seat guidelines out

New guidelines are out that could change the way you buckle up your child the next time you hit the road.

For some parents it's their child's first milestone: switching from a rear-facing car seat to one facing forward.  Like many parents, Sara Bohling made the switch the day her daughter turned one-year-old.  She says, “That was a celebration for us.  She was getting bored looking behind and we were excited to turn her around.”

New research says that may be a year too early and that the longer a parent waits to make the switch, the safer the child will be.  Experts say a rear-facing car seat does a better job at protecting the head neck and spine in a crash.  Car Seat Technician Donna Tool says, “They are 75% more likely in those front-facing seats to be badly injured or to die.”

Tool says toddlers are actually five times safer if they remain in a rear-facing seat until the age of two.  She says, “Those seats are going to cradle the body in an accident and protect the head and neck.”

And to make sure the safety belt fits properly, experts are even recommending leaving your child in a booster seat, until they reach almost five feet tall and are between 8 and 12 years old.

For Bohling the decision is simple.  She says, safety first.  “If I have a 75% chance of protecting my child, why wouldn't I follow those recommendations?”