Letters to the Editor

Clarification of Guidelines for the Proper Use of Child Car Seats


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.


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 afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680. 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.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Apr 15, 2021

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article