Looking backwards. That is way children under two years old should ride in car safety seats , according to the latest advice released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This new recommendation amounts to a reversal of position. Pediatricians had told parents that children's rear-facing car seats could be turned around and face forward shortly after the child's first birthday.


But now research shows that children under two are less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding in a rear-facing seat.

Another recommendation is that children remain in booster seats until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, a height most children reach somewhere between 8 and 12 years old.

Once the kids top 4-feet 9 inches , the pediatricians recommend that they should ride in the back seat, wearing seat belts, until they turn 13. Then they can be welcomed to the front seat.

The chief author of the study ,  Dr. Dennis Durbin at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, acknowledged that some parents may balk at these recommendations.

No kidding.

Science, no doubt, is on his side.

But you wonder if this doctor has ever driven a car pool. Wrestling a car full of kids into booster seats is a tall order.

On the other hand, most teen-agers are probably more than willing to remain in the back seat, as far away from their parents as possible.