According to recently updated advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children should ride in rear-facing car seats longer, until they are 2 years old instead of 1.” (C. Johnson, AP Medical, Chicago AP, 3/20).
Both organizations additionally advise that “older children who've outgrown front-facing car seats should ride in booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits them.” Seat belts won't work properly on Children that are too small for them. Generally, children should not use adult seat belts until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches.
The advice “may seem extreme to some parents, who may imagine trouble convincing older elementary school kids up to age 12 to use booster seats, but it's based on evidence from crashes. For older children, poorly fitting seat belts can cause abdominal and spine injuries in a crash.”
As a Chicago car and truck accident attorney, I strongly encourage parents to take these additional safety precautions.