According to the Injury Prevention Center at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 40,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents last year. As of October 1st, new laws went into effect which increased the weight and age requirements to help keep children safe while in cars. These laws have been put into effect to ensure children are appropriately restrained to avoid being seriously injured.
Connecticut is now the eighth state to update their laws according to the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which suggest children stay rear-facing up to two years old. According to safety experts, rear-facing car seats provide a cradling effect which better protect children in the unfortunate event they are involved in a car accident.
If families are curious how to best keep their children safe while they are traveling in a car, we suggest ensuring you are familiar with your state’s laws. Below are important changes that have been made and are now currently in effect:
- Children must remain rear-facing until they are 2 years old and weigh 30 pounds
- Children in a 5-point harness seat must remain in one until they are 5 years old and weigh 40 pounds
- Children in a booster seat must remain in a booster seat until they are 8 years old and weigh 60 pounds
Those who do not comply with the new car seat laws will be fined and will have to take a two-hour educational class about car seat safety through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation recommends that families do their research and purchase a car seat that meets the needs of their child’s current size and age. It’s also important for families to keep in mind that the car seat they choose also needs to be the right fit for the vehicle you own. Once you purchase a car seat, be sure to register it and sign up for safety updates including recall notices.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, in Connecticut one in five car seats are not properly used. To ensure your children are safe, families are encouraged to have a local car seat technician install the car seat for you, or once you’ve installed a car seat yourself, have it checked to verify it has been installed correctly. In Connecticut alone there are approximately 75 fitting stations available for families. Certified technicians can not only show you how to properly install a car seat, but also how to properly use it.
To learn more information or to find a fitting station near you, visit Safe Kids Connecticut.