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California mandates rear-facing car seats for kids till they're 2

The way young children sit in cars is about to change in California.

Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed a measure that requires children younger than 2 to sit in a rear-facing child-safety seat while traveling in a vehicle.

The bill, AB 53 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), will not apply to children who weigh more than 40 pounds or are 40 inches or taller. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Garcia and other backers say the law will protect children.

"Despite studies and educational campaigns by doctors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, not enough parents are changing their behavior. An overwhelming number of parents still place their children in a forward-facing position too early," Garcia's office said in a statement.

"According to medical professionals, the heads of young children are heavier, and their necks and spinal cords are not fully developed. In an accident, young children facing forward have a 75% greater chance of injuring their spines or even breaking their necks, due to impact."

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Some parents oppose the idea, saying they like being able to see their child's face from the rearview mirror.

“It’s gonna be a little more inconvenient now because he doesn’t like the car seat. I think he would if he was able to see me,” said Jessie Pope, a mother of three with a newborn, told KCBS.

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