WESTERN NEW YORK - Early next year the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is revising its regulations when it comes to the system designed to make child seat installation easier.
It's known as LATCH: lower anchors and tethers for children. The lower anchors are tucked in the back seat cushions.
Under the changes the LATCH system shouldn't be used if the combined weight of the child and car seat is more than 65 pounds.
The change will affect car seat manufacturers who previously didn't take into account the weight of the seat when guaranteeing the weight of the anchors and tethers.
Car seat manufacturers will be required to label seats with the 65 pound maximum and label the weight of just the seat to take the guesswork out of securing your child.
The change affects convertible and forward-facing seats and applies mostly to toddlers and children over age three because they're the most likely to exceed the 65 pound maximum.
Trained car seat technicians advise using the seat belt to secure a car seat if your unsure whether the LATCH system is correct for your child.
The change doesn't mean you have to buy a new seat.
Parents are advised to follow the car seat and vehicle manuals and use the recommended weight limit. Go with the lower weight limit if the manuals differ.
The New York State Police, Erie County Sheriff's Department, and other local police and fire departments offer free car seat checks. There are group checks throughout the year, or you can call for an appointment.