New Car Seat Rules in 2014
I feel like the rules just keep on changing. Seriously.
First it was that kids should be rear-facing until they were two. Now, according to new rules set to take effect in 2014, parents will be advised to avoid using the LATCH safety systems in their cars when the combined weight of their child and their car seat equals 65 pounds or more.
Bottom line: safety advocates fear that the lower anchors in your car might not hold the weight in a crash since requirements for both car seats and the weight limit advisements have changed since the LATCH system was placed in vehicles manufactured as early as 2001.
Given that many car seats weigh in between 15 and 33 pounds, that means that some kiddos as young as three could potentially be in car seats not tethered into the car. Buckled, yes. But tethered, no.
And while advocates of the rule change say that minimum strength requirements of the LATCH system should be increased, that doesn’t help anyone with a vehicle that was manufactured before now.
The best bet, seriously, is to not only tether both the lower anchors and the top tethers (that’s what helps prevent head injuries), but to also secure the seat with a seat belt through the back. It’s a pain in the butt, yes. And many parents like the convenience of the LATCH system, but safety first folks, safety first.
You can read more about the changes via this article at USAToday.com.