The American Academy of Pediatrics News’ Parent Plus has updated its travel information. Traveling across the country in a recreational vehicle (RV) can be exciting for children of all ages. To keep everyone safe in your home on wheels, be sure to use seat belts and car seats.

When buying or renting an RV, families should look for safe seating arrangements for everyone according to Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, a pediatric transportation safety expert and an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) member.

It is best that you have a forward-facing seating position with a seat belt available for any passenger whether they’re going to be riding in a car seat, booster seat or just a seat belt. Remember that infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years of age or reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer. Families can use the AAP car safety seat guidance when selecting a seat for their child.

Additional safety advice for RV travel is as follows:

1. Do not sit on the side- or rear-facing benches when the RV is moving. Car safety seats and booster seats are only approved for use in a forward-facing vehicle seat using either a seat belt to attach it or the lower anchor attachment.

2. Choose an RV that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208. These RVs have type 2 (lap and shoulder) belts for all forward facing seating positions. Type 1 (lap only) are not safe for children.

3. Tow the RV or drive a second car if there aren’t enough safe seating positions for everyone.

4. Don’t distract the driver, as the drivers must focus on the road. RVs have a longer stopping distance, maneuver differently and take longer to avoid road hazards.

5. Remember the laws of physics. The RV is a house on wheels and there is a ton of stuff in the RV. If the RV is traveling at 60 mph, everything in the RV is also moving at 60 mph. That includes the passengers, the blender and everything else. If you are unrestrained at any point, you are a potential human missile.

6. RVs are prone to rolling over which is the most dangerous type of crash.

Parents should strive to be just as safe with their children in the RV and do exactly what they would do in their passenger vehicle.

For more information about car seat safety, you may visit Healthy Children at

Sally Robinson is a clinical professor of pediatrics at UTMB Children’s Hospital. This column isn’t intended to replace the advice of your child’s physician.