Salem, Ore. – Governor Kate Brown recently signed a critical health and safety bill into law that helps provide more protection for Oregon children. The bill would require children under age 2 to ride in rear-facing car seats.
The new law makes Oregon the sixth state in the country to raise car seat standards to align with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Oregon State Representative Sheri Malstrom who’s also a registered nurse and an Oregon Nurse Association (ONA) member, was the chief legislative sponsor of the bill. “As a public health nurse, I’ve talked with thousands of parents about the lifesaving difference the right car seat can make,” said Representative Malstrom. “Putting more children in rear-facing car seats will prevent serious injuries and save lives. It’s critical that we continue educating Oregonians about the positive impact this change will have for children and their families.”
Research shows children under age 2 are five times less likely to suffer injuries or death when using a rear-facing car seat compared to a forward-facing one. When used properly, rear-facing car seats reduce children’s injury risk by more evenly distributing impact forces during a crash. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children. Oregon previously allowed children over the age of 1 to ride in forward-facing seats.
Many hospitals, police and fire departments, and other community health and safety organizations offer free assistance with car seat installations and safety checks. Contact your local health department to find nearby car seat inspection stations.
ONA was founded in 1904 as the professional association for nurses in Oregon. It represents more than 14,000 nurses throughout Oregon and is the state’s largest nursing professional association and union. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities.
For more information visit www.OregonRN.org.