TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Parents have new rules to follow when driving with their children in New Jersey.

Child safety seat rules that take effect on Tuesday adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations.

Children under age 2 and who weigh less than 30 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing seat that is equipped with a five-point harness.

Until now, a parent could choose to have their 1-year-old face forward in their car seat as long as they were over 20 pounds.

“If you have that forward motion that throws their head forward, that’s going to put significant stress on their neck and their spine, so you’re going to see much more dangerous neck and spinal injuries if you turn your child around too soon,” AAA Spokesperson Cathleen Lewis said.

As part of the new rules, children between 2 and 4 who weigh up to 40 pounds can be in either a rear-facing or front-facing seat. Youngsters between 4 and 8 who are less than 57 inches tall must be in a forward-facing seat or a booster seat.

Police officers and firefighters across the state are ready to help parents and caregivers comply with the new regulation.

“They can usually contact their local police department. They have officers that are trained in installing car seats,” Sgt. Stacey Connolly with Mahwah police told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.

Children between 8 and 17 must wear seat belts.

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