Listen 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.
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?
Image via Diapers.com