A new law has gone into effect in New York that will require parents to keep infants and toddlers in rear-facing child safety seats long.
As of Friday, Nov. 1, children must remain in rear-facing child safety seats until they are at least two years old or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the seat being used.
According to AAA, the new law falls in line with updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. “A rear-facing seat provides increased support for the very vulnerable and still-developing head, neck and back of young children,” Elizabeth Carey, Director of Public Relations at AAA Western and Central New York stated.
From 2011 to 2015, 1,896 1-year-old children were seriously injured in car crashes, with 25 percent in no restraint at all, AAA noted. Sixty-nine 1-year-old children died in crashes during the same time frame, one-third of whom had no restraint. From 2014 to 2017, police in New York State issued more than 27,000 tickets for child seat violations.
The new law in New York follows in the footsteps of similar legislation that has already been put into effect in several other states, including Connecticut and New Jersey.
According to the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, an appropriate child restraint system is one that fits the child according to the manufacturer's height and weight specifications.
“With so many youngsters in safety seats injured and killed, proper seat installation is critical. A Parents magazine article in May cited reports that show as many as 95 percent of families install their newborn’s car seat incorrectly,” AAA said. “The training for a child safety seat technician, those who teach proper seat installation, is 30 hours long and has a 359-page manual. With most parents never bothering to read a safety seat’s instruction booklet, many seats are improperly installed, compromising the safety of millions of infants and toddlers.”
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