Effective March 27, 2005, New York’s safety restraint law will give even more protection to children traveling in motor vehicles. The new law will require children ages 4, 5, and 6 to be properly restrained in an appropriate child restraint system. Previously, the law only required children up to age 4 to be restrained in a child safety seat.
All children up to age 4 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat that meets applicable federal safety standards, and is properly attached to a vehicle by a safety belt or universal child restraint anchorage (LATCH) system.
Children less than 4 years old, but weighing more than 40 pounds, may be restrained in a booster seat with a lap/ shoulder belt.
Children ages 4, 5, and 6 must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system, one for which your child meets the height and weight recommendations of the child restraint manufacturer.
Secure children ages 12 and under in the back seat.
Children should face the rear of the vehicle until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.
Infants who reach 20 pounds before 1 year of age should ride rear-facing in a convertible seat or infant seat approved for higher weights until at least 1 year of age.
If a child seat accommodates a child rear-facing to higher weights, for optimal protection, the child should remain rear-facing until reaching the maximum weight for the child seat, as long as the top of the head is at least one inch below the top of the seat back.
Vehicle safety belts should not be used until the shoulder belt can be positioned across the chest with the lap belt low and snug across the thighs; the child’s knees should fold comfortably over the edge of the vehicle seat when the child’s back is flat against the vehicle seat back.
A forward-facing seat, combination seat, or belt-positioning booster seat should be used when the child has outgrown a convertible safety seat but is too small to use the vehicle’s safety belts.
Booster seats are for BIG kids! They put the child in a more comfortable position, and make it easier for a child to see out the window. Most booster seats are designed to accommodate kids up to at least 80 pounds. Several are rated up to 100 pounds.