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Child Car Seat Regulations Set to Change


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – They’re notorious for being tough to install and now parents with young children have yet another guideline to follow when it comes to car seats.

The Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, or LATCH, was once used to make seats easier to install, but is now facing new regulations.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 73 percent of car seats are not used or installed properly. While the number may seem high, new mom Becky Clingensmith says she’s not surprised.

“Ours, we thought were in there pretty good and then they needed some minor changes. So I think that people that don’t have them checked, you think they’re in good, but they’re really not,” she told us.

Little Taylor will be in her infant seat for a while, but when she moves into her convertible seat, she will be safer, thanks to new regulations targeting the LATCH system.

“When you use the LATCH system, the LATCH system has three components. It will be a top tether and lower anchors,” explained Magda Rodriguez, Community Coordinator for the local Safe Kids Program.

Those lower anchors connect into bars between the car’s seat cushions. It makes the child seat very east to install.

These new regulations take into account not only the weight of the child, but the weight of the car seat as well.

According to the new regulations, your child plus the weight of the car seat need to be under 60 pounds to be strapped in with the LATCH system. 

Your best bet is to use the seat belt right away when your child is front facing.

“You know you’re safer because the seat belt will hold an adult and we are a lot heavier than the child and the seat. So let’s do that, let’s just use the when you go front-facing. Let’s just use the seat belt,” said Rodriguez.

For now, Taylor is snug as a bug in her seat, but the Clingensmith’s say they will be back when she’s ready to roll in her bigger seat.

Safe Kids runs their car seat check program every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. free of charge at Baystate’s ambulance Station at 345 Page Boulevard in Springfield.

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