AAA: New car seat weight limit on labels aims to reduce injuries - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

AAA: New car seat labeling aims to reduce injuries

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TAMPA (WTOC) -

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised labels for weight limits for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children car seats. The new labeling will include both the child's weight and the weight of car seat itself.

Data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey of Child Passenger Safety Technicians found that 85 percent of CPSTs have encountered LATCH weight limits that exceed recommendations, and nearly one in five report seeing this often, according to a AAA news release. CPSTs are certified to check and teach parents how in properly install car seats. The full report was provided to NHTSA in December 2013.

"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," warned Michele Harris, director of AAA Traffic Safety Culture at The Auto Club Group, in a statement. "Clear labeling is a step in the right direction, but standardization of equipment and proper education of caregivers remain the priority."

The LATCH requirement aims to improve the ability of caregivers to correctly install a car seat. But according to the AAA Foundation's survey, more than half of CPSTs report caregivers are less likely to install a child seat correctly using LATCH.

The AAA Foundation project had an expert panel analyze the LATCH system. The panel rated LATCH usability issues based how many times mistakes were made and the severity of the injury potential. The foundation then made recommendations based on the panel's findings.

For more information regarding car seat safety and a list of car seat inspection stations go to http://safeseats4kids.aaa.com/.

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