A new 65 lb. LATCH rule was announced yesterday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert for Dorel Juvenile Group, a leading manufacturer of children’s car seats, offers some insight:
Statistics for proper car seat installation haven’t changed in more than a decade. Despite changes in federal regulations, the availability of car seat installation checks, and ongoing education campaigns, three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly. While some may need minor adjustments for proper installation, others sometimes need to start from ground one. It only seems like an advanced degree may be needed in “installationology,” but by starting off with the basics you’re one step closer to success.
Here are some easy tips to think about:
The three most important things to consider when choosing a car seat:
- Does this car seat fit my child?
- Does this car seat fit my car?
- Is this a car seat I will be able to install and use correctly every time?
To find out the answers to these questions:
- Have the car you will be using the seat in with you and try it out at the store;
- If possible, have your child with you at the time of purchase;
- Follow information in both the car seat manual and vehicle manual for installation; and
- Attend a car seat check for assistance in proper installation and use from a certified car seat technician. (SEE BELOW FOR CAR SEAT CHECK LOCATIONS)
New rules for car seats using LATCH require understanding of your car seat’s weight and child’s weight:
- Car seats manufactured after February 27, 2014, are required to carry a new label with guidance on maximum weight limits for LATCH;
- The combined weight of seat and child should not exceed 65lbs;
- Look in the manual and label on the car seat to identify the weight of the seat;
- Look for a weight on the maximum weight for the child;
- Know your child’s weight; and
- If the combined weight of the seat and your child exceeds 65lbs, install the car seat using the vehicle’s belt.
It is important to know that installations with the belt or installations with LATCH are equally acceptable. However, car seats should not be installed using both methods at the same time. No matter what method is chosen, be sure to finish off the installation by using the top tether.
Go to the National Highway Safety Administration’s Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator to search by state or zip code for a child car seat inspection station nearest you. Certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, in most cases, free of charge, and show you how to correctly install and use it. Also, check out these great Child Car Seat Installation Videos and know the Child Car Seat Laws in Louisiana.
CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSTALLATION LOCATIONS IN THE NEW ORLEANS METRO AREA
1401 Foucher Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Touro Infirmary, in partnership with certified Child Passenger Safety technicians from Interim LSU Hospital, will conduct two FREE car seat check events at Touro during 2014. The drive-up car seat inspections will take place in a blocked off area at Touro’s Foucher Street entrance, 1401 Foucher Street. Certified safety technicians will show parents and other adults how to correctly install car seats and determine whether children are in right size seat for their age.
Saturday, March 29 from 9am-12pm
Saturday, September 27 from 9am-12pm
Tulane-Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children
4700 S. I-10 Service Road W
Metairie, LA 70001
Car seat safety checks occur on the 4th Thursday of every month from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. They will be adding more dates/times this summer.
Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus
2500 Belle Chasse Hwy.
Gretna, LA 70056
Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus performs car seat safety checks twice weekly by appointment with a certified car seat technician. To schedule an appointment email FamilyUnitWB@ochsner.org or call 391-5529.
Ochsner for Children
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 07006
Hours: Monday-Friday, By Appointment
Phone: (504) 842-SEAT
Contact: Cindy Haefele
West Jefferson Medical Center
1101 Medical Center Boulevard
Marrero, LA 70072
Every Wednesday by Appointment–Complimentary car seat checkups/installations performed by Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician are available by appointment. For more information or to schedule a car seat checkup for your child, call Mindy Glenn, R.N., C.L.C., C.P.S.T., at (504) 349-2173.
Louisiana State Police Troop B
2101 I-10 Service Road
Kenner, LA 70065
Every Wednesday 1pm to 4pm, is a designated installation day. No appointment necessary. Walk-ins are accepted everyday, but may be subject to extended waiting periods or rescheduling. For appointments call Trooper Melissa Matey at (504) 471-2780 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2600 No. Causeway
Mandeville, LA 70471
Every Wednesday from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm is a designated inspection day. Walk-ins are accepted every day, but may be subject to extended waiting periods or rescheduling based on personnel availability. For appointments contact: Trooper Nick Manale at 985-893-6250 or Nicholas.Manale@dps.la.gov.
Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office
701 S. Upland Street
River Ridge, LA 71112
Hours: Monday-Friday, By Appointment
Contact: Deputy Kelly Kieffer
A visual of Car Seat Recommendations for Children from http://www.safercar.gov/