On October 23, 2017, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new piece of legislation stating that children who are younger than 2 years of age must be rear-facing while riding in a motor vehicle. This will go into effect on November 1, 2019.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children. Young children in a forward-facing seat are five times more likely to be seriously injured than those in a rear-facing seat. In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years of age or, preferably, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer. Recent studies, however, have shown that caregivers are not following these recommendations. A study from July 2017 showed that 38% of parents of 17-19 month old children were not following the AAP’s recommendation (Jones AT, et al. J Pediatr. July 13, 2017, http://bit.ly/2tDj232).