Understanding the CT Car Seat Law for Rear-Facing Infants

February 23, 2023 - 9:33 am - 4 min read
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When it comes to the safety of our children, every parent wants the best. One crucial measure we can take to ensure our little ones are always safe on the road is obeying the car seat laws in our state. Connecticut, like many other states in the US, has car seat laws that dictate how children should travel in a vehicle for their safety. For infants, the state’s car seat laws require parents to use rear-facing car seats until the infant reaches a particular age, weight, or height. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into what the CT car seat law on rear-facing infants involves to help you keep your child safe on the road.

What the CT Car Seat Law on Rear-Facing Infants Entails

Under the CT car seat law, parents or guardians must use a rear-facing car seat for their infant from birth until they’re at least two years old. The law specifies that the infant’s weight, height, or age could be a factor in determining when to transition them from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing one. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they’re two years old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.

Benefits of Rear-Facing Car Seats for Infants

The CT car seat law requires parents to use rear-facing car seats for infants for a good reason. Rear-facing car seats provide better protection for infants in case of a crash, than forward-facing ones. When infants are rear-facing, the car seat can absorb most of the impact force in case of an accident and distribute it evenly across the infant’s body. This helps reduce the impact on sensitive areas like the head, neck, and spine, which are still developing and vulnerable to injury in young children. Research has shown that rear-facing car seats can reduce the risk of severe injury or death from a crash by more than 70%.

Exceptions to the CT Car Seat Law on Rear-Facing Infants

Like every rule, there are exceptions to the CT car seat law on rear-facing infants. If the infant weighs more than 30 pounds or is more than 32 inches tall before turning two years old, parents can use a forward-facing car seat that meets the state’s safety standards. However, car safety advocates recommend that parents continue using a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible as they provide better protection in case of an accident.

Penalties for Violating the CT Car Seat Law on Rear-Facing Infants

Breaking the CT car seat law on rear-facing infants can result in penalties that can be costly to parents. When caught violating the law, parents can face a fine of up to $92 for each offense, which can add up to hundreds of dollars if caught multiple times. Additionally, parents who fail to adhere to the state’s car seat laws on rear-facing infants can receive points on their license. Accumulating several points can lead to a suspended license or even revocation.

Tips for Proper Installation of Rear-Facing Car Seats for Infants

Proper installation of car seats is crucial to ensure they serve their purpose in protecting your child in case of a crash. Here are tips to ensure you install your child’s rear-facing car seat correctly:

  1. Select a car seat that fits your child’s age, weight, and height and is compatible with your vehicle
  2. Always read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual thoroughly
  3. Install the car seat in the back seat, preferably in the middle where it’s away from airbags
  4. Ensure the car seat is tightly secured to the car’s seat and doesn’t move more than an inch when shaken
  5. Always use the car seat’s harness system and make sure the harness fits snugly around your infant’s body without slack

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