Study points to problems with child seat restraints
UNDATED (WHDH) -- Before you pack the kids up for school, you might want to double check the car seat.
A study released Thursday morning says a lot of parents have trouble installing their child safety seats -- and it seems, the seat designs are to blame.
It's a frustrating feat for any parent of a child that still requires restraint seats: installing the restraint correctly.
The insurance institute for highway safety released a study on the LATCH restraint system, a requirement on every car and most other vehicles manufactured since 2002.
The group also released a video showing the tough time parents had installing the system.
“We looked at almost 100 passenger vehicles," the IIHS’ Anne McCartt said.
Anne McCartt said poor design by auto manufacturers is partly to blame. One problem is that seat belt buckles block access to the anchor that holds the restraint in place.
"What we found is that automakers could be doing a better job, in many vehicles, at making it easier for parents to install child restraints," McCartt said.
But parents are being challenged, too, for not using the tether that extends from the top of the restraint seats.
"We think many parents may believe the tether is optional, but the tether isn't optional; it's absolutely essential to getting the best protection from a forward-facing child seat," McCartt said.
To drive home that point, the institute ran tests to show how a child could be injured if the top tether is not attached.
The number of volunteers who struggled with the top tether is rather alarming. The insurance group says only 13 percent managed to secure the tether correctly, guaranteeing a secure fit.
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