HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Every year, thousands die on roadways.
The most vulnerable — children.
Now, there’s a new law starting on Oct. 1 in Connecticut, aimed at minimizing their injuries and saving lives.
Nick Aysseh, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Community Outreach Educator says, “It’s not to tell parents what to do or tell them that they are doing something wrong.”
It’s about advocating for little ones and keeping them safe.
AAA, state lawmakers, hospitals, doctors and police departments are working together to boost requirements when it comes to car seats as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Parents definitely tend to transition children out of car seats too soon,” says Diana Imondi, AAA Traffic Safety Programs Manager.Related Content: Stretch Your Dollar: Purchasing the right car seat
Now, kids up to two years of age or 30 pounds must remain sitting rear facing in car seats.
Imondi explains, “Rear facing seats actually cocoon and cradle children in a frontal crash as oppose to putting a significant amount of strain on their neck.
The law also expands into having booster seats be required for those up to 8-years-old and 60 pounds.
“All it does,” says Imondi, “is position the seat belt better so it’s hitting her at the shoulder and at the bonier part of her hips. So, if ever involved in a crash, the strong areas of her body get the force right.”
But, there’s also a little known detail of requiring a 5 point harness.
“That means that a child under five and under 40 pounds needs to remain in a 5 point harness traditional car seat until they reach those minimums,” says Aysseh.
Connecticut is the eighth state to pass similar legislation into law.
Supporters say it’s needed, with only one out of five child car seats installed correctly.