Do you have young children who use car seats? Over the years, the laws in Connecticut have changed. When your now 10-year-old was a toddler, the protocol was different than it will be for your three-year-old this fall. In July 2017, a new law to strengthen child passenger safety laws was passed and will take effect October 1st. What do you need to know about the upcoming car seat changes?

How Car Seat Laws Have Changed

infant in a car seatEarlier this year, Connecticut law stated that infants had to be in a rear-facing car seat until 1 year old and 20 pounds. Toddlers had to be placed in five-point harnesses until 40 pounds, regardless of age. Finally, older children were required to remain in a booster seat until 60 pounds and age 7. This fall, expect the following changes to these old car seat laws:

  • Infants must be put in rear-facing car seats until 30 pounds and age 2.
  • Toddlers will stay in five-point harnesses until 40 pounds and age 5.
  • Older children are expected to be in booster seats until 60 pounds and age 8.

These laws are going into effect in part to help combat the fact that nearly 40,000 people of all ages are killed across the country in motor vehicle accidents. In Connecticut specifically, there were 311 car crash fatalities on our roadways in 2016.

“When children sit in a vehicle and they’re not appropriately restrained, they can fail to be restrained by the restraints that are there and seriously be injured in a crash or having the seatbelts positioned incorrectly on them can cause injury as well,” said Kevin Borrup, Associate Director at the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Find the Right Car Seat

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, when a car seat is correctly used, the risk of death is reduced by 71 percent. However, for the seat to be used correctly, it needs to fit your child and the model of car. An old infant car seat will not keep a four-year-old child safe from injury in an accident. Make sure that as your children grow, their car seats evolve too. Plus, there is no “one car seat fits all vehicles” policy, so make sure the installation instructions make sense for your car.

Unfortunately, even when parents buy a car seat that fits their vehicle and child’s size, product malfunctions can happen. If your child was injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a dangerous car seat, contact the product liability attorneys at Trantolo & Trantolo today to pursue your claim.