New California state law for car seats

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Parents will be keeping their kids in their rear-facing car seats a little longer than they had hoped. State law will soon require kids stay in those seats until they are two years old, 40 pounds or 40 inches tall. Parents we talked to weren't too thrilled to hear about the new law.

Manufacturers recommend you keep the kids in these rear-facing seats until they are 12 months old but that is a recommendation and not state law.

Parents who strap their little ones into their car seats in the back of the car can't wait for the day their kids can face forward. But a new law signed by Governor Brown requires kids to stay in their rear-facing car seats until they are two years old.

Yessica Mondragon of Fresno said, "It's kind of difficult because, for example, my child she wants to be looking everywhere and I'm kind of nervous if she is turned around."

Mondragon thought she'd soon be able to put one-year old Allison into a front-facing seat which would make it easier to watch her.

"Drinking her bottle or something. I try not to give it to her but sometimes she needs it because she's crying and so to me, it's a choking hazard and I can't be observing while i'm driving."

Sandra Martinez is a safety seat instructor for the California Highway Patrol. She understood the concern of many mothers but said the new law will keep little ones safer.

Martinez explained, "A lot of parents get concerned because they can't see their child or their legs are crossed or their legs are gonna hurt but really it's a lot safer and it really protects the spine and the neck."

Some infant car seats come with detachable carriers. Others are already designed for kids weighing up to 40 pounds but if you don't have one you'll have to buy a new one. The law takes effect January 1st 2017.

Mondragon said, "It's another expense and so right with our economy too it's kind of expensive."

The CHP will spear-head the effort to let the public know about the car seat rules which are designed to improve safety.

Martinez said, "The shell actually takes the force so when you are involved in an accident the child is cradled, almost a cocoon type and it's a lot safer for the child."

Parents who break the law in 2017 could face a $400 fine. null
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