Children under 2 would be required to ride in back-facing car seats under bill

All children in Wisconsin would be required to ride in rear-facing car seats until they reach the age of 2 years old under a bill being circulated at the Capitol.

Currently, Wisconsin law requires children less than a year old or who weigh less than 20 pounds to be in a rear-facing car seat.

The bill would change this to require than infants ride in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or longer, and modifies several other child safety restraint system requirements.

The bipartisan lawmakers proposing the bill, Rep. Chris Taylor and Rep. Ron Tusler, said the current state law is “dangerously out of date with almost all medical and child safety guidelines” in a memo they sent to their fellow legislators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says children under the age of 1 should always ride in a rear-facing seat. For children between 1 and 3, the NHTSA recommends keeping children in rear-facing seats for as long as possible. The agency recommends that children remain in rear-facing seats until they reach the top height and weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

In 2017, 325 children under the age of 5 were saved by car seats, according to the NHTSA.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also published new guidelines in 2018 recommending that children remain in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight and height allowed by their seat.

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