Letters to the Editor

Clarification of Guidelines for the Proper Use of Child Car Seats



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Am Fam Physician. 2006 Oct 1;74(7):1095-1096.

to the editor: I found the article “Discharge Procedures for Healthy Newborns,”1 in the March 1, 2006, issue of American Family Physician to be a good review of important topics to be addressed with parents before the discharge of their newborn. However, there was one error in the text regarding an issue that I have found to be a common source of confusion. Dr. Langan notes that, with regard to car seat use, an “infant should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she weighs more than 20 pounds (9 kg) or is older than one year of age.”1 The original guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics that he references states that, “Children should face the rear of the vehicle until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.”2 The article’s accompanying figure does not really help clarify this point. Although this is not really a newborn issue, I address it with parents starting when their children are in the six- to nine-month age-range because otherwise I find a general tendency in the parents to try to get children facing forward as soon as possible.

REFERENCES

1. Langan RC. Discharge procedures for healthy newborns. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73:849–52.

2. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Selecting and using the most appropriate car safety seats for growing children: guidelines for counseling parents. Pediatrics. 2002;109:550–3.

Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.

Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

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