National Child Passenger Safety Week runs Sept. 15-21; new rear-facing car seat law begins Nov. 1
As Child Passenger Safety Weeks beings, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), together with state and local partners, will host child safety seat events throughout the state. This will help parents and caregivers ensure their child’s restraint is properly installed and fitted correctly. These events coincide with national Child Passenger Safety Week, which takes place from Sept. 15-21. A total of 35 events are planned statewide throughout the week, including 22 on National Seat Check Saturday.
During all 35 events, certified child passenger safety technicians will educate participants on how to choose an appropriate seat for the child’s age and size, and how to install the seat correctly. Complete details on these and other events sponsored by the GTSC throughout the year are available on the GTSC website.
“When it comes to keeping your child safe in a vehicle, you can never be too careful,” said DMV Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Many child safety seats are not installed correctly. The events planned this week offer parents and caregivers a convenient way to have their child’s car or booster seat checked by a certified technician to ensure that it is installed and fitted correctly. I applaud our state and local partners for providing this vital service to New Yorkers.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors Child Passenger Safety Week to make sure children are in the proper safety seat based on their height and weight, that seats are properly installed and used, and to encourage that seats are registered with the manufacturer to ensure parents and caregivers receive important safety updates.
According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Properly installed car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers. Last year, GTSC and DMV launched an online video series to highlight safety measures to protect children and infants in motor vehicles.
New Yorkers should also be aware that, beginning Nov. 1, a new law will take effect requiring all children under the age of 2 to be in a rear-facing car seat. Previously, there was no age requirement to use rear-facing car seats in New York. The law passed two years ago, in 2017, but does not take effect until this year, to give New Yorkers ample time to prepare and make appropriate purchasing decisions.
NHTSA contends rear-facing seats are the best for a young child to use because they are equipped with a harness and, in a crash, cradle and move with the child to reduce the stress to the child's neck and spine.
There are three types of rear-facing car seats: infant seats, convertible seats, and all-in-one seats. If the child has outgrown an infant seat before their second birthday, it is recommended that a larger, rear-facing convertible or all-in-one car seat with higher rear-facing height and weight limits be used.