Bath, NY (WENY) -- New York State has come out with a new law regarding your car seats to protect those most vulnerable in your families.
Lorelei Wagner, a certified passenger safety technician for Steuben County Public Health says "we know that motor vehicle accidents,
car crashes are one of the top leading causes of death for children across the board."
According to current law, Children always were to remain in a car seat or booster without specification until the age of 8.This will continue, but the new law is much more specific for babies and young children. The law recently signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo will now state that children under the age of 2 must be rear facing when in their car seat. Before this was not really specified, just recommended by organizations and car seat companies. This change has been shown to be much more safe, especially in the event of a crash.
Wagner says that "riding rear facing is the safest location for children to be. Just based on crash tests and kind of the forces that happen when unfortunately people are in motor vehicle accidents, rear-facing car seats allows for less movement of the child's head and neck and that's what we are really most concerned about in motor vehicle accidents."
Remaining rear facing allows for the child to be surrounded by an outer shell-thus reducing fatal neck and head movement in the event of a crash. Now there are some exceptions to this law, but those are based on the actual car seat you own. It is important to buy the correct seat for your infant's height and weight-so be sure to check the labels provided. With the law in place in many other states and countries around the world, several locations have seen a decline in car-related fatalities just from this change.
Wagner says that in her research that "there are 8 other states in the united states that have similar or the same laws, remaining rear-facing until age 2, Sweden has had this in practice for many years and their death rates due to motor vehicle accidents or related to rear-facing seats is a lot lower than what we see."
If a child under two is found in the improper seat once the law takes effect, parents can be ticketed, or face fines.
This law will take effect November 1st, 2019, to allow for families to buy the correct car seat.
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