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Child Safety Seat Law Goes Into Effect In New York State – CBS New York


MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Many parents are unaware of a new safety requirement that involves infants and toddlers who are passengers in vehicles.

New York has become only the 10th U.S state to pass the child safety seat law. It goes into effect Friday.

Emergency room doctors are adamant the law should be nationwide, CBSN New York’s Jennifer McLogan reports.

Lauren Paterno is mom to 2-year-old Hudson, who now by law must be buckled into a rear-facing car seat. Hudson weighs less than 40 pounds and is shorter than 49 inches, which are requirements for his seat, so he may stay rear-facing for another year, at least.

“It just gives me a sense of relief. Just as a parent, I want to make sure my child is safe and I know rear-facing is best,” Paterno said.

The new law seeks to better protect vulnerable babies and toddlers who often have disproportionately large and heavy heads and are at risk for serious head, neck and spinal injuries when thrown forward in forward-facing car seats.

“With the infant 2 years and under, they have a slightly larger head compared to their body, which, although it makes them quite adorable, also puts them at increased risk for instability,” said Dr. D’Andrea Joseph, of NYU Winthrop Hospital.

The number of crashes that children were involved in last year is staggering.

“The latest statistics show more than 4,000 children were killed or injured in crashes in New York State,” said Robert Sinclair, of AAA Northeast.

Of those injured, 25% were not in rear-facing seats and 33% of the children who died were in no restraints at all. AAA says there is still a lot of work to be done to get parents to comply.

Some parents worry about fussy babies and toddlers who want to see mom and dad, but doctors say that is far less important than keeping children safe.

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