The State of New York wants parents to protect their infants and children from motor vehicle accidents, which is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 13. Car seats provide that protection. New York enacted an updated car seat law that went into effect on November 1, 2019.
New York’s first car seat law went into effect on April 1, 1982. It required all children to be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle, until they reach their 8th birthday. The law described “an appropriate child restraint system” as “one that fits the child according to the manufacturer’s specifications for height and weight.”
The new version of New York’s car seat law says that all children under the age of 2 must use a rear-facing car seat. It is recommended that infants and toddlers ride in rear-facing car seats until they reach the weight or height limit of the seat.
There are three types of rear-facing car seats: Infant Seats, Convertible Seats, and All-in-One seats. The rear-facing seats have been show to better protect the head, neck, and spine of young children.
Most children will outgrow a rear-facing infant seat before reaching their second birthday. If that happens, they recommend that a larger, rear-facing Convertible or All-in-One car seat with higher rear-facing height and weight limits be used. This new car seat law also applies to school busses.
Parents must make sure their children are properly and safely restrained for every car ride, every time. Parents should get their car seats inspected at a local fitting station or check event, to ensure it is appropriate for their child. New York does not recommend buying a used car seat because it may be outdated, broken, or part of a recall.
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