Rep. Mike Schlossberg, August 19, 2015 | 12:14 PM
ALLENTOWN, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today announced that he intends to introduced legislation shortly to require children under the age of one to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while traveling in a vehicle.
Current state law requires all children under the age of four to be properly secured in an approved car seat. However, the law does not specify how the car seat should be facing despite numerous studies showing rear-facing car seats do a better job at protecting an infant’s head, neck and spine.
“Children under the age of one are better protected in a car when they are secured in a rear-facing car seat,” Schlossberg said. “As a father of two, I am always concerned about protecting my most precious cargo when we are on the road, which is why I am proud to introduce this proposal that better helps parents and children across the state get to their destination safely.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that rear-facing car seats offer better protection to infants because it allows the force of a collision to be distributed over the entire body rather than in one location like the neck or spine. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration currently recommends that infants should be in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh at least 20 pounds and are at least one year old. Schlossberg noted that federal guidelines also recommend making rear-facing car seats mandatory for infants.
“By definition, accidents are outside of our control. But it is completely within our control to ensure that children are properly secured when they are in a vehicle,” Schlossberg said. “My proposal will ensure that as a state we are listening to science and reason in our effort to protect the smallest of Pennsylvania’s travelers.”
Eleven states, including Alabama, Alaska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin, currently require rear-facing car seats for children under the age of one.