Parents with toddlers and babies need to be aware of new car seat laws that are hitting the books as early as February. The new laws emphasize the child’s weight as the guideline for the kind of car seat a child should use instead of age.
In 2002, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system were made mandatory. The LATCH system was supposed to make those confusing car seats easier to get in the car. But, according to Consumer Reports, the LATCH system was originally designed to hold only up to 65 pounds. That means the system can only be used when your child and the car seat weigh 65 pounds together. Once your kid and the seat exceed that weight, you must use the car’s seat belt to secure the seat.
Beginning in February, car seat manufacturers will be required to put the weight a seat can carry based on the weight of the seat. Most car seats weigh between 15 and 33 pounds. That means that the label on a car seat that weighs 33 pounds will say a child no heavier than 32 pounds can use the seat.
Because car seat laws vary from state to state, be sure you know the requirements in your state.