Have you heard the latest car-seat news? Starting in 2014, new recommendations state that the LATCH system should no longer be used once your child and his or her car seat have a combined weight of more than 65 pounds. What does this mean for you and your family? Today, we’re answering some of your most frequently asked questions.
What is LATCH?
LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It refers to the two lower anchor attachments and top tether system found in most vehicles manufactured since 2002. The idea behind LATCH is to make installation easier and more universal among car seats and vehicles.
Why are the recommendations changing?
The change is an update to a 2001 recommendation that states that all children should remain in car seats until they reach 65 pounds. That law, however, did not take into account the weight of the car seat. Vehicle manufacturers have since reported that they cannot guarantee the strength of LATCH anchors when adding the additional weight of a car seat, thus the need to modify the regulation.
How do I make sure I’m meeting the new guideline?
To figure out when your child will “outgrow” the LATCH system, you’ll need to add the weight of your child seat and your child (Please note: In accordance with the new law, car seat manufacturers will now be placing a label with the child’s maximum weight while using LATCH). For example, if you’re using our Primo Viaggio Convertible, it weighs in at 21 pounds, meaning you can continue using it with the LATCH system until your child reaches 44 pounds. At that point, the Primo Viaggio Convertible should be reinstalled using your vehicle’s seat belt.
Is using a seat belt as safe as using LATCH?
Yes. While the LATCH system makes it easier to properly install car seats, securing a child seat with a seat belt is equally as safe.
What about the top tether?
Generally, top tethers are used for forward-facing car seats (our Primo Viaggio Convertible has a rear-facing tether too) and can be used either with LATCH or seatbelts. Check your vehicle user manual for instructions specific to your vehicle.
My child is in the Viaggio HBB booster seat. Do the new rules change how I use it?
No. The Viaggio HBB booster was designed to always be used with your vehicle’s seat belt. Lower LATCH anchors provide secondary stability and keep the booster secure when not in use.
If you don’t see your question above, please ask. We’ll do our very best to get you the information you need. And if you need help installing your car seat, you can find a certified CPS technician or child-seat-fitting station near you through one of these organizations:blog comments powered by Disqus