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New year brings new rule for child car seats - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

New year brings new rule for child car seats

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The age limit for rear-facing car seats is changing in 2017.

Currently, children are required to ride rear-facing only until one year of age.

That will change starting this Sunday in California. Beginning January 1, a child must ride rear-facing until the age of two, or until the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 inches or more in height.

"Once they reach two years old or exceed 40 pounds or 40 inches they can be turned forward,” explained Officer David Medina, California Highway Patrol.

With the new law taking effect in just a few days, Officer Medina assisted a parent Thursday with the proper installation of a rear-facing car seat.

"The most important things that I see from right here is, make sure the car seat is at a good angle because if it is too far back they can slide out, if it's too far forward their heads are going to tilt forward," added Medina.  

Mom Ahtziri Calderon said she feels at ease knowing her child is secure after Officer Medina installed her car seat.

"I saw one time that a mom posted that her daughter was facing rear and due to the accident because the car seat was rear-facing, her daughter made it out alive," said Calderon.

Father Jose Clemente said come Sunday, he will obey the law but will have to do some research to see if it is, in fact, safer.

"That is one of my to-do things in this new year, to actually read up on some of the documentation about that and see what the studies do, in fact, show," explained Clemente.

Officer Medina recommends parents keep their children rear-facing for as long as possible.

Parent Ashley Cabigon agrees.

"As long as I can, I'll keep her in there because she is going to get tall and she is going to get big. As long as I can, I am going to keep her rear-facing because it's really safe," said Cabigon.  

CHP added that the middle seat is the safest spot to place your child's car seat.

The new law will go into effect this Sunday. A violation can lead to a citation of up to $300.

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