As of January 1, 2017, California now requires children younger than two years old to be in rear-facing car seats, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is taller than 40 inches. The previous law only required rear-facing car seats for children up to one year old or who weighed 20 pounds or less. The increase in age requirements was introduced after experts found that children are far safer in rear-facing seats. Many health organizations, such as the California chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Violation, also support this law.
Studies Show Kids are Safer in Rear-Facing Seats
Research has shown that children who are in rear-facing car seats are five times safer than those who were in forward-facing seats. Rear-facing seats provide better protection for a child’s spine, neck, and head in the event of a crash.
Some studies have also shown that parents tend to transition their kids to forward-facing seats too soon, even though it is much safer to keep them in rear-facing seats for as long as possible. Although parents usually do not like the idea of rear-facing seats because they can’t see their kids while driving, it is a proven precaution that can help prevent serious injuries. Any inconvenience would be worth it, especially if it keeps kids safe.
Child Car Seat Safety Tips
- Register your car seat so you are notified of recalls immediately. Recalls can surface from time to time, so be sure that you check your current seat for any open recalls.
- Avoid purchasing a used seat. When a car seat is used past its expiration date or if it was in an accident, it may no longer be safe. If your current seat has been in an accident, replace it immediately.
- Check for proper installation. Make sure that your seat is installed properly for maximum protection. The harnesses should be tight and there should be minimal movement. You can have an expert inspect your installation if you need assistance.
Dedicated to Protecting the Injured
Our San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn provide effective representation to the injured. If you or your children were injured in a car accident, we can help you recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. Learn more about our legal services by calling (415) 940-7176 or email us.