Child Car Seat Requirements Change with 2014 Rule

When a new rule regarding a federally required child seat attachment system takes place in early 2014, many parents with children aged 3 and older will be advised not to use it.

The rule will require child seat makers to tell customers not to use the lower anchors required in cars manufactured after 2001 if the child and the car seat have a combined weight of 65 pounds because the strength of the anchors cannot be guaranteed.

The average weight for child seats is between 15 to 33 pounds. This means that children who weigh as much as 32 pounds could not use the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. This system was designed to make child seats easier to install and to ensure safety.

Child-safety advocates believe that the rule should be changed because the requirements are currently based on old child seats. Others say it should be changed because limits weren’t factoring in how much the seat weighs.

Currently only about 30 percent of parents are using the lower anchors to attach seats and only 30 percent are using the top tether straps. The top tether straps help prevent head injuries during a collision.

It is recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics that children use safety seats with harnesses through age 8.

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