Change the law to require children to travel in rear facing car seats to minimum age of 2.

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We call upon the New Zealand Minister of Transport to change the law to require children to travel in rear facing car seats to a minimum age of 2. This is in line with the current NZTA and Plunket recommendations and is based on evidence which shows that rear facing car seats are up to 5 times safer than forward facing seats.

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Why do we need this law change?

While NZTA and Plunket already recommend children travel rear facing until at least 2 years old, there is no legal requirement to do so (although all children under 7 (or 8 where one is available) must be in an approved child restraint). Rearly Safe would like to see the law changed to support rear facing to a minimum of Two years old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. Evidence* shows that rear facing can be up to 5 times safer than forward facing.

*Henary B, Sherwood, C P, Crandall J R, Kent R W, Vaca F E, Arbogast K B, Bull M J. Car safety seats for children: rear facing for best protection. Injury Prevention 2007; 13:398-402.

This video shows the difference between forward and rear facing (this video is not too graphic, so is suitable for watching with children if you wish.)

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Alongside the campaign we would like to see improved access to information about car seats (through leaflets available from Lead Maternity Carers, GP surgeries and antenatal classes and other community channels) so parents can make an informed choice about the right seat to buy.

We would also like the Government to make it a priority to put in place nationwide schemes to assist families on low incomes to be able to afford suitable safe car seats.



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