How Do the Changes in Car Seat Recommendations Impact Pennsylvania’s Seat Belt Laws?

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Protecting your child when he or she is in a vehicle is a top priority. For that reason, many parents research car seats to choose a car seat that provides maximum protection for their child. With that in mind, we wanted to alert parents to a change in the recommendations regarding rear-facing car seats.

What Are the New Recommendations for Car Seats?

In August 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published updates to its recommendations for child passenger safety. The AAP previously recommended that children remain in a rear-facing safety seat until they were two years of age. For many parents, this recommendation meant that they could convert their car seat to a front-facing car seat once their child turned two years of age. Since many toddlers prefer to face forward, turning the car seat around was a welcomed milestone for many parents.

However, the AAP has updated its car seat recommendations to remove the reference to age for rear-facing car seats. Under the new recommendations, the AAP states that parents should use rear-facing car seats for as long as possible.  Since many car seat manufacturers produce car seats that accommodate toddlers weighing up to 40 pounds, many children can remain in a rear-facing car seat beyond their second birthday.

Studies indicate that children in rear-facing car seats are better protected against neck and back injuries in a car accident. The car seat absorbs much of the impact from the collision and cradles the child’s head and neck much better than a front-facing car seat.

What is Pennsylvania’s Car Seat Law?

According to PennDOT, the state’s primary child passenger safety law requires parents to use a child safety seat for all children under the age of four years. For children under two years of age, parents must use a rear-facing child seat unless the child exceeds the height or weight restrictions for the safety seat.

However, under the new recommendations from the AAP, parents should continue to use the rear-facing car seat after the child turns two years old, if possible. Therefore, the new car seat recommendations align with the state’s child safety seat laws.

In addition, children in Pennsylvania between the ages of four and eight years must use a booster seat designed for the child’s height and weight. Children over eight can use a seat belt.

Car Accidents Claims for Children

Your first priority is your child’s health and well-being after a car accident. However, your child may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. An Erie child injury lawyer investigates the accident to determine the cause of the injuries.

Protect your child’s legal right to receive compensation for injuries by contacting an Erie child injury lawyer now. In addition, you may receive compensation if you missed work to care for your child after a car accident.

To schedule a free legal consultation with our Erie child injury lawyer, contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066.