New Oklahoma Law Requires Kids to Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seat Till Age Two

New Oklahoma Law Requires Kids to Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seat Till Age Two
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Charlotte Glennan admits buckling up her two year old grandson Kasey can sometimes be a struggle.

“He just doesn’t always like to be buckled but he’s buckled every time,” says Glennan.

Kasey graduated to a forward facing seat six months ago. He used to ride backwards.

“When he is in the rear facing it is a little bit harder because you can’t see what he’s doing or anything but we talk and sing and stuff so or toys to keep him interactive.”

And other caregivers at the park share the frustration.

“If the children are used to facing forward and then they turn ’em around to face back then there’s going to be a lot of frustration in the children as well,” says Claremore, Oklahoma resident Lori Jackson.

“I have a two year old son and I think it’s good to have a rear facing child seat till you’re over two. in my case, mine’s smaller and I think it’s better for the protection,” says Miami Resident Brent Greenlee.

A new law in Oklahoma requires not only infants to ride in a rear facing child restraint but toddlers until the age of two… or until they surpass the weight or height limit of their rear facing seat.

These guidelines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Fred Wheeler says it has to do with the proportion of the head versus the rest of the body and how much muscle mass a child has.

“If you’re facing forward and you floor the accelerator, you will go ahead and lean back just a little bit, but if you hit the break even at 5 miles an hour your head jerks way forward. so if you have a little baby that can’t walk yet and doesn’t have any muscle mass for their neck. They’re really, really likely to get terribly injured.”

Dr. Wheeler applauds the new law in Oklahoma, but says there could be some downsides for parents not paying attention.

“I think that that may lead to children being left in cars, if somebody has them facing to the mirror. and they don’t see them in the rearview mirror, and they’re not talking to them. i think that is a possibility.”

In Kansas and Missouri it is only recommended to have kids in rear facing seats till the age of one.

“I think they should make it longer so it’s safer for the children. That’s the most important part,” says Glennan.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says children under two who are facing forward are 75% more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident.

Oklahoma also added height rules for four-year-olds. They must be buckled in a child restraint or booster seat if they’re not yet 4ft 9 inches. The same height is required for kids in booster seats. The law requires booster seats until age 8 if kids aren’t that tall.