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Louisiana's new enhanced child safety seat law taking effect August 1

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BATON ROUGE- A law adjusting the age requirements for children in car seats and boosters goes into effect August 1.

When State Police Sgt. Melissa Matey says she hopes it will save lives, she is speaking as a trooper and as a mother of four.

“It's very difficult for me as a mother to go out to a crash scene and witness children that have been severely injured or killed in crashes that are preventable they didn't have to happen,” Matey said.

The new law requires:
-Any child who is younger than 2 years old must be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat until reaching its weight or height limit.
-A child who is older than 2 years old and has outgrown the rear-facing child safety seats must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat with an internal harness until reaching its weight or height limit.
-A child who is at least 4 years old and has outgrown the forward-facing safety seats must be restrained by a belt-positioning booster seat secured with a seat belt.
-A child who is at least 9 years old or has outgrown the booster seat can use the car's adult seat belt if it fits correctly.

Parents can find height or weight limitations on labels on the sides of the seats.

“The law that has been put in place for 2019 definitely provides more protection for our children and the way we travel,” Matey said.

But the new rule won't make the installation any easier. Matey says every seat is different and every car is different.

Parents who need help installing or checking the installation of child seats can go to state police troop headquarters across the state. For more information on the new seat belt law, click here. For State Police troop headquarters listed by region, click here.

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