CHICAGO (CBS)– A new Illinois car seat law change will help ensure children are safer. Those who do not follow this law could face a fine.
Children two-years-old and younger have to face the rear of the car. Anyone caught violating the new child seat law could face a $75 dollar fine and $200 for the second offence.
Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. According to the CDC, 723 kids, 12 years and younger, died in 2016.
Jose Munoz and his wife Eliza have three daughters. The youngest, Diana Jo, is 8-months-old. He heard Illinois was interested in learning more about the new law.
“I wanted to get more information because I’m a little bit more paranoid when it comes to things like this,” he said.
Jessica Choi, a child passenger safety instructor at Lurie Children’s Hospital, says the old law only focuses on the age of the child.
“Kids have to be in an appropriate child restraint car seat, just a fancy word for that, until they are eight years old,” she said. “And that it’s.”
Starting at midnight, in Illinois, Choi said “you can turn that seat on backwards.”
Once a child is 40 pounds and 40 inches tall, they can face forward.
Now that children two years old and younger have to face the rear of the car, some parents might be reluctant to embrace the change.
“A lot of people, they say, ‘I don’t want to rear-face my kids, they’re feet will touch the back of the seat, their feet will be uncomfortable,’” Choi said. “What’s it’s really doing is keeping that little neck safe until kids get bigger and stronger necks.”
Choi offers this easy to remember suggestion, “when we’re rear-facing, our belt goes under the rear.”
Jose Munoz says, says it is hard to think about possibility of his children in a serious car accident.
“In your mind you don’t want to go to the worst possible thing of, right?” he said. “And so I think sometimes easier to say, we’re fine, we’re fine, but that’s not how life works.”