A new car seat law has been passed to ensure child passenger safety in New York. The law will come into effect at the beginning of November 2019. Starting this November 1st, every child under two years of age will need to be placed in a rear-facing car seat when riding in a motor vehicle. Vehicular crashes are the top cause of deaths for children between the ages of one to thirteen years of age.
In an attempt to change this, the rear-facing law has been passed. Since young children are sometimes too small or delicate for a seat belt and face the danger of suffocation by an airbag or another serious injury such as spinal and neck injuries if an airbag deployed. The rear-facing law is meant to offer protection and support in the event of a sudden stop or car crash.
Until recently, the law required children to only need a rear-facing child car seat prior to turning one year old. The new law, however, states that children should be placed in forward-facing harness straps until the age of 4, a booster seat until the age of 8, as well as being placed in a rear-facing car seat until they have reached the car seat manufacturer’s maximum weight requirements and height limits when riding in the front seat. The only exception to this law is if a doctor’s instruction determines that using a child restraint system is impractical or dangerous depending on the size and medical condition of the child.
While the rear-facing law wasn’t previously in effect, it is something highly recommended by pediatricians and multiple traffic safety organizations. South Carolina, New Jersey, California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut have also joined New York in passing this law in order to protect young passengers.
New York officials recommend anyone with young children to ensure their child is safely buckled in their safety belt and if they’re unsure to participate in a safety check event or visit a fitting station to ensure the child’s seat belt fits. Seeing as car seats are often subject to recall, this is really a small step to ensure the safety of a child passenger.