Weight limit labels for child safety seats have been revised to account for the child’s weight and the seat itself.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chose to revise the labels for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)-installed car seats because most parents don’t take the seat weight and child’s body weight into account when determining the appropriate seat to use.
“Exceeded weight limits may cause the lower anchors and tether to perform improperly in the event of a crash, leaving children vulnerable to injury or death,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “Clear labeling is a step in the right direction, but standardization of equipment and proper education of caregivers remain the priority.”
The AAA Foundation turned its report criticizing LATCH in to NHTSA last December, saying its research suggested half of caregivers are less likely to install a child seat correctly using LATCH. The mounting system was required starting in 2002 in an effort to increase the likelihood of proper child seat installation.
But during the survey, the AAA Foundation found that caregivers frequently misinterpret the weight limit cited for the seat. It also found that people often position the car seat in the middle of the rear seat rather than to one side by attaching the seat to the inner bars of the outboard lower anchors.