California Requires Rear-Facing Car Seats for Children Under 2

125486076_5dc1245ba9_bCalifornia is the third state in the U.S. to pass a law that will require children to stay in rear-facing child safety seats until they reach the age of two. Parents have plenty of time to prepare. Currently, children must ride in rear-facing seats until they are one year of age. The new law does not go into effect until January 1, 2017. Some consideration has been given to larger children who do not fit in rear-facing seats. The law will not apply to children who are 40 inches tall or taller or who weigh more than 40 pounds.

Laws Slowly Catching up to Safety Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) updated its guidelines for car seats in 2011. This included the recommendation that infants and toddlers stay in rear-facing seats until they are two years old or reach the maximum height and weight for their seats.

A study published in the journal Injury Prevention, in 2007, found that children under two were 75% less likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash when riding in rear-facing seats, according to the AAP.

Every state has a car seat law, but few require rear-facing seats for children up until they turn two. New Jersey now requires children to ride in rear-facing seats until they reach two years old or 30 pounds. Oklahoma’s new law requiring rea-facing seats for children under two goes into effect on November 1, 2015. A similar bill in Michigan failed to pass in 2014.

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