There has been a lot of buzz lately about new car seat laws in 2014. This is what you need to know:
1- There is no new law in place right now. There is a proposed law that car manufacturers and car seat makers get on the same page; what we want is consistency. Your child’s car seat may allow your child to be in the car seat until 65 pounds, but your child’s weight plus the weight of his car seat weight may exceed the LATCH system’s weight limit (often 65 pounds or less). In this case, the LATCH may not hold the seat in place if there is an accident.
2- If your child plus his car seat exceeds the safe weight limit for your car’s LATCH you can still secure the car seat with a seat belt. There is no maximum weight limit for the seat belt to secure a car seat.
3- You should always use the top tether on your child’s car seat. There is currently no weight limit for the top tether, and we know they significantly reduce the risk of head injuries if you are in an accident.
4- You should still have your infant or toddler in a rear-facing car seat until she is at least 2 years old or she exceeds the height and weight limit for your particular seat. Rear-facing is so much safer that we just changed our daughter’s car seat to forward-facing at 3 ½ years old!
5- Your child should switch to a booster seat after he exceeds the safe height and weight for your forward-facing seat (typically over 4 years old and over 40 pounds). The AAP still recommends that he remain in a booster until he is 8-12 years old and 4 feet 9 inches tall.