FAIRFIELD COUNTY, — A new law that took effect today, Oct. 1, changes the age and weight requirements for children's car seats — which will better protect kids in Connecticut when they are passengers in vehicles, according to experts.
Here are the new rules on child restraint requirements in Connecticut:
- Any child under age 2 or weighing less than 30 pounds, regardless of age, must be placed in a rear-facing child restraint.
- A child between 2 and 4 or weighing 30 to 39 pounds, regardless of age, must ride in either rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint.
- A child between 5 and 7 or weighing 40 to 59 pounds, regardless of age, must sit in a rear-facing child restraint, a forward-facing child restraint or a booster seat secured by a lap-and-shoulder seat belt.
- All children ages 8 through 15 who weigh 60 pounds or more must use an approved child restraint system or a safety seat belt.
Under the new law, if a child's age and weight fall in two different categories (for example, a child under 2 but weighing more than 30 pounds), the more restrictive requirement applies (rear-facing car seat in this example).
The new law also requires that child restraint systems be equipped with a five-point harness.
“The new provisions bring Connecticut in line with the latest research and best thinking from the leading child safety advocates, both locally and nationwide,” said Fran Mayko, AAA spokesman.
During the last legislative session, the AAA Clubs of Connecticut, along with a broad group of traffic safety stakeholders, testified in favor of legislation.
It brings Connecticut in line with the latest research and best thinking from leading child safety advocates.
Connecticut becomes the 8th state — and fifth this year — to accept the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group advises that children remain in rear-facing car seats up to age 2.
The new booster seat provision makes Connecticut the 35th state to follow the recommendation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in keeping children in booster seats up to age 8. Two additional states require up to age 9.
AAA also said that nearly all children who were properly restrained in rear-facing and booster seats under Connecticut’s previous law can remain in that same seat under the new law.
The old law required infants to ride rear-facing up to 1 year and 20 pounds; and in booster seats up to 7 years and 60 pounds.
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