New Child Car Seat Rules for 2014 Will Actually Make Parents' Lives Easier

This Just In 84

car seatListen up parents! Roll down your car windows and welcome in the winds of change: Car seat requirements are changing in 2014. Was that too dramatic? We just want to make sure you're all paying attention and get the details. The new guidelines could actually make keeping your kids safe in the car a little bit easier.

Parents have been complaining that the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system isn't strong enough for bigger kids. Apparently those anchors you use to attach your child's car seat (the ones for kids age 3 and over) may not be strong enough to hold a child in the event of an accident. So the new recommendation states that you should no longer use the LATCH system if the combined weight of your child and the car seat are over 65 pounds.

More from The Stir: The Important Winter Car Seat Safety Rule You're Probably Breaking & Why You Must Stop Now (PHOTOS)

What should you use instead? A seat belt. Transportation Department spokeswoman Lynda Tran says a seat belt is just as safe. And the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a harness for kids up through the age of 8. However, as long as your child is smaller, definitely keep using the LATCH system. Only 30 percent of parents use those lower anchors.

Anyway, I think this new rule will come as a bit of a relief for some parents. Those anchor latches are a pain in the neck. I think it's much easier to just use the seat belt anyway, provided you're careful not to use that upper strap, which can choke a child.

But of course, this isn't about our convenience. This is about what's safest for our kids. I'm glad parents' concerns over anchors and bigger kids were heard and the guidelines have been updated.

Do you use the LATCH system with your kids' car seats?


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miche... micheledo

We have never owned a car that is new enough to use the latch system.  So we have always used the seat belt.

Robin Hartman

LATCH is the easiest and most convienient way to install a carseat, in my opinion. 

nonmember avatar NoWay

I am glad my kids are no longer in car seats. When they were, the latch system was good if you didn't have to keep moving the car seats. Otherwise, the seat belts are much easier.

nonmember avatar Amanda

I suppose I fail to see how this is any easier? Now I have to pay attention to not only my child's weight, but the combined weight of my kiddo and a car seat. I'm not saying I won't do so diligently, I just think this adds another thing for me to keep my eye on which is not easier in my opinion.

As a commenter stated above, I also much prefer the latch over seatbelt in terms of ease but it's different for everyone.

amazz... amazzonia

jeez!!! 65lb still in a carseat? please kill me lol!

how long do people keep their kids in carseats?!?!!? omg people are way to paranoied!!!

Christina Thomas

We have always used the latch system when its available. I'm also paranoid and would hook the seat belt as well.


mamar... mamarosebug

65 lbs isnt bad....where I live they have to be in a carseat until 5 years of age, then they can be in a booster.....I was curious because my 3 year old is outgrowing his carseat....and now I need to find a bigger carseat to fit him since he is only 3 and not 5.

Hello07 Hello07

Amazonia: when you say paranoid it describes someone who is taking unnecessary risks.

Fact: the number one way children die is car accidents.

You are the insane one for thinking the numbers don't count for you are your precious snowflakes.

Hello07 Hello07

Christina Thomas: read the manual. Typically you are not supposed to use both.

Katharina Putnam

We use the LATCH combined with the seatbelt. I do NOT care about easy, I just want my kids to walk away from a car accident. 


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