USA TODAY - Most parents flip their child's car seat forward-facing too early, and loved ones who know better often don't speak up. A new campaign aimed at creating awareness is hoping to change that.
A new study from baby brand Chicco reports 72% of parents say they are uncomfortable talking to other parents about keeping their children riding rear-facing before age 2, even though most know American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations.
The AAP says all infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. The CDC reports 59% of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce effectiveness. This comes at a time when motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among U.S. children.
On Monday, Chicco launched TurnAfter2, a website and photo-sharing campaign spreading car seat safety information and celebrating those who follow the AAP guidelines. Chicco is also promoting its Fit2 Infant and Toddler Seat.
In a 2011 C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, 73% of parents reported turning their child forward-facing before age 2. More recent studies show lower percentages, but some still report nearly 25% of those polled switched too early.
Dr. David Hill, pediatrician and Chicco child passenger safety spokesperson, said rear-facing car seats are five times safer than front-facing in a crash.
Daphne Oz, celebrity ambassador for TurnAfter2, said at a time when parents are bombarded with advice and information, often they're left to "guess" what's best for their children. She says TurnAfter2 promotes a positive way for parents to help each other keep families safe while traveling.
"It’s not that scolding, mommy-shaming nonsense," Oz said. "We can and should be each other’s resources especially if you see something that puts a child in harm’s way. This is a way for you not to be the bad guy. "
To participate, parents can share photos on social media using #TurnAfter2. For more information on the campaign or Chicco's Fit2 Infant and Toddler Seat, visit www.turnafter2.com.
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