One childcare expert is urging parents to follow stricter guidelines on car seat safety than current Wisconsin law calls for.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Chuck Muehlenkamp keeps a close eye on his kids, especially his now youngest little baby Allison who is just four months old.
He is always making sure they are safe at places like the park or when going for a ride in the car.
"It's something you always think about, having them in a good secure car seat," he said.
Allison's car seat is rear-facing. And he plans to keep it that way until she turns two. That is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.
"Like all parents, my children's safety is important to me."
These are words from a PSA recently put out by the DOT and is being heard on radios and seen on TVs across Wisconsin.
But the advice given on it is different from what you'll hear from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"Until babies are one-year-old and weigh at least 20 pounds, they must be in a rear facing seat in the back of your car," it says.
One years old or two? Which one is it? We called the DOT to find out why there is a difference.
"Basically the requirements that were highlighted are required by Wisconsin state law," said Steve Olson with the Wisconsin DOT.
He says their PSAs follow what the law says. In the TV and radio version, they point people to the DOT website for more information. In their web video, they make it clearer that parents should go above what the law says.
"This is what we call a convertible seat," said Paula Pater, the Safe Kids Chippewa Valley Coordinator.
She advocates parents to keep young kids rear-facing until they reach the maximum weight indicated on their car seat. That could be as old as two or three.
"Ultimately they are five times less likely to be severely injured if they are rear facing," she said.
She says it is head-on collisions that put forward facing young ones at the greatest risk for severe injuries. So even if their legs are bent or if they need to cross them, it is better in the long run.
"They are much better protected, their head, neck and spine are protected," she added.
The next time you buckle up your young one, she says remember this:
"Most often with car seats, best practice will sometimes far exceed what the law requires us to do," she said.