Get ready, new safety seat law may be around the corner

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – State Assemblyman Sean Ryan joined child safety advocates, Thursday, urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign into law a measure requiring rear-facing child safety seats. The group also used the occasion at SUNY Buffalo State to demonstrate the correct way of installing a rear-facing seat in a car.

Ryan talked about how far the child safety seat movement has come, “Back in the 70’s, the safest car seat was a forward-facing car seat, but we have learned a lot since then. Today we know that children who are under the age of two years old, they are the safest in the event of an accident, in a rear-facing car seat.”

The state lawmaker also cited a University of Virginia study that showed, a child two years old or younger has a 75% greater chance of injury in a forward-facing car seat in case of an accident.

Malachi Fisher, Executive Director of the Safe Kids Coalition of Western New York, said the governor’s signature would make New York the ninth state in the country to adopt a rear-facing mandate.

“Manufacturers already recognize this, and already they have started designing car seats for this process. A lot of them have created extenders, so we could keep our kids rear-facing for longer.”

The challenge now, said Kristin Scholz of the group Every Person Influences Children (EPIC), is making sure parents know how to install the rear-facing seats according to the manufacturers instructions.

“We find that one out of almost 12 car seats are not installed correctly, and many people are not aware of the safety behind having the rear-facing car seats.”

If the car seat measure is sign into law, it won’t take effect until November 2019. Ryan said that will give parents sufficient time to switch to the rear-facing seats, and for retailers to stock up.

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