Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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State law not matching-up with doctors' orders

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BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's youngest riders could be in jeopardy in a car crash if parents follow state law.

Baton Rouge resident Angela Warren learned about the confusion during her daughter's one-year checkup at her pediatrician.

"She said 'ohh you need to make sure that her car seat is still rear facing until she's two,'" Warren said. "We have a nine-year-old and then the rule was twelve months. So I questioned her about it and she said 'ohh it's the new rule."

The new rule came in March 2011 from the American Academy of Pediatricians.

A study showed children under two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear facing.

But still more than two years later, Louisiana law tells parents to turn their kids around at one and suggests parents are breaking the law if they don't.

"I think the recommendations are pretty new," Louisiana State Police Captain Doug Cain said.

But even during the department's parenting courses, Troopers teach and recommend the AAP's rear-facing until two-years-old rule but still inform parents about the conflicting law. That gives parents a choice.

"We believe the best practice is to keep them rear-facing until they're two years as long as they fit in that seat properly. So you would not be written a citation," he said.

Cain informed the department could be in discussion with state lawmakers in order to change the law by next year.



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