NY Law requires children to be in rear facing car seat until age 2

Up to the Minute

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.

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