Parents learn new guidelines on car seat weight limits - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parents learn new guidelines on car seat weight limits

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A lot of parents are questioning whether their child's car seat is safe now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised its guidelines on weight limits.

In the past, children who weighed 65 pounds or less could use a car seat, but now officials say that weight limit should be a total of 65 pounds, including the actual seat.

For more than a decade, parents have been told that 65 pounds is the magic weight limit for child safety seats. Toddlers weighing more than that should be moved to a booster seat, but a recent study of crash tests now shows that a 65-pound child is probably too heavy.

"The safety of that child is first and foremost in any parent's mind, and, so, making sure that child is going to be safe in the event of any crash or accident or even a quick stop should be important to any parent who's out there," said AAA spokesman Glenn McLendon.

Chazlie Miller works at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in one of more than 70 child fitting stations all across the state manned by people who've been certified in the proper use of safety seats.

"We can do anything from infant seats up to booster seats. We can go out and assist them with the laws in Tennessee as well as the demonstration aspects of it," Miller said.

Studies show that a whopping 85 percent of all parents do it wrong.

"There are all kinds of factors that come into play, vehicles - some new vehicles are different - as well as the car seats being different. So those factors all come into play and is why it's a little bit difficult for parents installing the car seats," Miller said.

The Governor's Highway Safety Office has people all over the state who are certified to properly install child safety seats.

To find one near you, visit: http://tntrafficsafety.org/programs/child-passenger-safety

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