From the Tioga County Public Health Department:
Effective November 1st, 2019, New York State Law will now require all children under the age of two to remain in a rear-facing car seat.
Previously, the law only required them to remain rear-facing until their first birthday.
As motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 – 13, this is why it’s so important to make sure your child is properly restrained every time they are in a vehicle.
There are three types of rear-facing car seat options for parents to choose from: Infant Seats, Convertible Seats, and All-in-One Seats.
Children will outgrow their infant seat usually between six months to a year and a half, at which time parents will have to switch to a convertible or all-in-one car seat.
These types of seats can keep a child rear-facing until 40 or 50 pounds!
Because a rear-facing car seat can help protect a child’s neck and spine in the event of a crash, they should be kept in that position until they reach the manufactures maximum height or weight before switching them to a forward-facing position.
The new New York State law requires children to remain in a:
Rear-facing car seat until at least age 2
Forward-facing harness until at least age 4
Booster seat until at least age 8.
Some other reminders to keep your child safe in a car are:
Always have your child properly restrained for every car ride
Keep children in the back seat until at least age 13 where they are safest
Avoid buying or using used car seats, since there is no way to know the history of the seat
Never rush your child to the next type of car seat, as they lose some protection every time they switch to the next type of seat
Do not put your child in a car seat while they are wearing a big winter coat; instead let them wear a thin fleece and put the coat back on when getting out of the vehicle
When in doubt, get your car seats checked out!
Call Tioga County Public Health at 607-687-8612 to make sure your child is in the correct seat and that it is installed and being used correctly.
Additional fitting stations can be found by visiting www.safeny.ny.gov/seat-per.htm.