Adults driving with small children tend to always have the same complaint when it comes to their car. The child seat is difficult to properly secure in the backseat! It’s big, bulky and hard to determine whether the seat is fastened correctly. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, (LATCH) is a system designed to give clear instructions to parents on how to correctly secure their child’s car seat.

While the system may seem a bit daunting at first, it only takes a short time before parents start to feel like masters of the car seat. There are different intricacies of LATCH to know and those who have been doing it for a long time may believe they know it all.

However, LATCH will be making changes to their system in February 2014 that all parents need to be aware of. The change in policy is a safety precaution according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The new recommendation states that parents should not use the lower anchors of the LATCH system if the combined weight of the child and car seat is 65 pounds or more.

For those over the maximum weight limit, they should continue to use the tether strap that is attached to the top anchor in conjunction with the safety-belt system. Discussions between the NHTSA, vehicle manufacturer associations and makers of child car seats all seem to be positive. All seem to be in support of the combined weight label so that consumers would know how heavy a child could be without potentially overloading the LATCH anchors.

Adults with questions about how to properly install their child’s car seat should contact their car seat’s manufacturer for instructions and guidelines. Parents can also visit the NHTSA website for a step-by-step LATCH guide.  

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