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A new law took effect in August requiring all children under the age of 2 to be in rear-facing car seats.

Manheim Township Police Officer Natalie Littlehale and Sue Lackmann instruct families in the safe and secure installation of child safety seats.  Best practice guidelines advise parents to have their child’s car seat checked by a CPS technician for proper installation and use. 

“Pennsylvania has joined four other states in passing a law requiring children younger than age 2 to ride in a rear-facing car seat,” explains Sue Lackmann, Health Educator and Certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician Instructor, LG Health. “These laws offer sensible protections for our kids based on research drawn from crash data involving children.”

This 2011 data published by The American Academy of Pediatrics shows that:

  • Children younger than age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or to be severely injured in a crash if they are rear-facing.

  • Children ages 12 to 23 months were more than five times as likely to be injured when forward-facing, as compared to children of the same age secured rear-facing.

  • A rear-facing car seat supports the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, and distributes the crash force over the entire body.

  • Children up to 2 years old placed in forward-facing child safety seats are nearly twice as likely to be seriously injured as those secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.

  • Of children in the U.S. who are younger than 1 year old or weigh less than 20 pounds, twenty-one percent are incorrectly seated forward-facing.

National Child Passenger Safety week kicks off Saturday, Sept. 17 and concludes Saturday, Sept. 24, which is “Seat Check Saturday.”  Safe Kids Lancaster County will host a free seat check event, on Sept. 24 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hazmat Facility, 101 Champs Blvd., Manheim.  Interested parents should call 717-544-4636 to schedule an appointment.

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