BY MARY GARRISON
Parents across the nation may find getting their children ready to hit the road will be something of a different task in the coming year.
Beginning in January, child safety seat standards are changing to factor in the combined weight distribution of both children and the seats themselves. Parents are urged to avoid utilizing the latch system when the combined weight of the two is more than 65 pounds, as car manufacturers cannot guarantee the strength of restraint anchors with the additional weight of the seat. Prior to that time, the 65-pound limit applied only to the weight of the child.
While the safety standard is universal, the laws vary from state to state. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, in Mississippi, child safety seat restrictions require children younger than 4 to be secured in an actual child specific car seat. Children 4-6 weighing less than 65 pounds or smaller than 57 inches tall must be in a vehicle booster seat. Children exceeding the above weight and height limitations whom are 7 or older may legally ride with an adult safety belt.
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