“New” Fact or Fiction IVAN July 16, 2010
What is Fact or Fiction? How do you know the difference? • Technicians must stay current in a changing field • Make sure the safety information you are sharing is based on fact not fiction or personal preference. • New technology requires our re-education • Certain changes can have a big impact on CPS • Latest CPS student manual (revised 1/08) available at www.cpsboard.org under “training”
Fact or Fiction • Lower anchor use is standard in all vehicles meaning there will be 2 or 3 complete sets of anchors across the back seat and you will always use the two anchors labeled in that seating position (along with top tether when FF or RF-compatible).
Fiction (cont) • There are numerous configurations for the use of lower anchors used with LATCH depending on vehicle make and model. • Some have anchors that indicate you can’t use the seating position behind the driver if you use the anchors
Fiction (Cont) • Some may have 5 anchors allowing CR installation in either the center or left outboard positions • Ex: Chev. Malibu Maxx - in this vehicle the seating position behind the driver cannot be used by any passenger if the center LATCH position is in use because the CR would be over that seating (seat belt) position. • Chapter 3, beginning on page 23 2009 LATCH manual
Fiction (cont) • Some vehicles may have 3 pairs of lower anchors but CR must be installed using an overlapping anchor to keep the spacing equal between anchors. • Chapter 3, beginning on page 23 2009 LATCH manual
Fiction (cont) • Some may allow center installation using the outboard anchors if the spacing is equal, usually 11” but can range up to 20”. (both veh & CR manuals must agree) (Ford Taurus is one example) • Many models have 3 LATCH positions in one row that can be used at the same time. (ex: Ford Expedition 03-09, Toyota Sequoia 08, Chev Impala 02-09, Pontiac G8 08-09, etc. (refer to page 144 LATCH manual) • Honda Pilot 09 has 4 LATCH positions • Chapter 3, beginning on page 23 2009 LATCH manual
Fact or fiction • Its never safe to use two top tethers on one anchor.
Fact and fiction • Typically only one CR can be connected to a top tether anchor EXCEPT in “some pickup trucks the tether is routed through a loop directly behind the CR and hooked to an adjacent loop/anchor. In most cases 2-3 CRs can be tethered at one time in this way, with more than one tether attached to one loop.” • Remember - ALL things are subject to change – stay updated! • Reference LATCH manual page 53 • Diagram: 2006 Dodge Ram Quad Cab
Photo of Dodge Ram pickup tether configuration, CR being installed in center, strap run through loop directly behind CR & tethered behind outboard position.
Fact or fiction • Recreation vehicles are FMVSS approved.
fiction • Recreation vehicles do not need to follow FMVSS in the back, but they may still have seat belts - but anchorages for these are not required to comply with FMVSS 208. LATCH anchors are not required. • RV’s are not subject to school bus standards nor do many of the crashworthiness standards governing cars apply. • CR’s should not be installed on rearward or side facing seats. • Options in RV’s are limited for CR use. • SRN march/April 2010
Fact or fiction • Its ok to use a locking clip with a lap only belt if you cannot get a tight install.
fiction • It is never ok to use a locking clip with a lap only belt • Instead try: • Flipping the latch plate & rebuckling to achieve a better angle • Twisting the buckle to shorten it (max 3 rotations)
Fact or fiction • Our only concern when checking a car seat is the car seat.
fiction • We must address various issues: • The child who rides in the seat, family dynamics & seat placement • Loose items in the vehicle • Add-on items on car seat and in vehicle ex: DVD players, extra padding, window shades, etc. • Safety belts/LATCH/airbags, & other safety features in vehicle • Our goal for the child to leave safer than when they arrived and to remind the caregiver of the importance of their own seat belt use
Fact or fiction • There is always a safe way or alternative to do something involving CPS.
fiction • Sometimes it is necessary to say “I do not know a safe way to do that.”
Fact or Fiction • Handles must always be in the down position when used as a car seat.
Fiction • Several RF only CRs allow the handle to be in a variety of positions. • Some RF only CRs instruct the handle is to be or can be left in the upright “carry” position in the vehicle. • ALWAYS read the CRs instructions to confirm acceptable handle positions
Combi Connection LX series 8040– page 41 manual. 4 handle positions • “each handle position can be used for vehicle positions depending on size of vehicle” • Handle does NOT lock between positions B & C
Britax companion - handle in lowest bottom position behind seat (page 9 manual)
Graco SnugRide 35 - handle 3 positions: straight up, behind at mid level(next to lowest position) or all the way down.
Evenflo WARNING If you are unable to use the center rear seating position, and have to install this child restraint directly behind a front vehicle seat, ensure that there is at least 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) of space between any part of the child restraint and the vehicle seat that is closest to the child’s head. This space may be necessary for the child restraint to properly perform in certain types of crashes.
Fact or fiction • I am traveling by train, can I use my child’s car seat?
fiction • CRs cannot be installed on trains because trains do not have seat belts. • Compared to other modes of transportation trains have a far lower incidence of fatality. • A 2007 study on effectiveness of 3 pt belts found injury outcomes substantially improved, however train seats would require modification to be strong enough for seat belts. An unrestrained passenger behind the stiffer seat needed (with SB’s) could worsen injuries for those unrestrained behind it. • SRN march/April 2010
Fact or fiction • A consumer can have a test performed to see if a child safety seat has been in a crash. • Evenflo symphony with surelatch side impact 3 in 1 car seat
Fiction • There is no lab test that absolutely confirms harness use. A rumor that a child restraint may show signs of being in a crash if x-rayed (internal cracks showing up on the x-rays remains UNCONFIRMED) OR • that Post crash evidence might be found during an inspection by a specially trained “expert” during inspection of CRS/vehicle. • Best to err on the side of safety, assume the seat was used w/harness in use and if NHTSA child restraint replacement guidelines are met, replace the seat! • CPS Express
Fact or fiction • Caregivers should NOT use the LATCH system on a belt positioning booster.
fiction • Caregivers & techs should always carefully read the CR owners manuals & stay up to date on the latest information. Some come equipped, and occasionally, there is a retroactive policy change. • Ex: recent retroactive approval by Evenflo to use the lower anchors to secure the restraint while using their combination seats in booster mode. • Evenflo states, “We do permit the use of tethers & lower anchors, for BPB’s, as long as the position of the BPB in the vehicle and/or the resulting fit of the auto belt over the child are not affected.”
Fiction (cont) • Dorel – does not allow LATCH to be used with boosters, its test results show that a BPB should be free to move in a crash. • Learning Curve – does not allow LATCH with its BPBs It agrees that BPBs should be free to move in a crash. • Sunshine Kids – when using optional LATCH strap with its Monterey booster the strap may be tight or loose. • Britax – recommends lower connectors be pulled tight with reasonable force with its Frontier booster. • Clek – has a booster line that comes with rigid lower anchors. (prev photo) • These are all subject to change, we must stay informed & updated!
Fact or fiction • The percentage of strength requirement for webbing in a child restraint is to ensure safe performance.
fact • In addition to the strength requirement, the standard also includes width & elongation. Resistance to abrasion, light & micro-organisms are also critical tests that are part of evaluating the webbing of a CRS in FMVSS 213.
Fact or fiction • Child restraints bought online still rely on the registration cards being sent in to manuf.
fact • Consumers are buying more seats online. With online purchasing the consumer gets an additional notice of recall from the e-retailer which encourages greater registration. • Buying a restraint online does not register their product with the manufacturer so keep encouraging caregivers to send in cards or register online! • CPS Express May 2010
Fact or fiction • When a manufacturer comes out with a new model, can we assume the older version is retroactively approved? • (New)Britax Frontier 85 Britax Frontier
fiction • No, you should never assume that new product improvements are retroactive. • Example: Britax Frontier 85 & original Frontier. Although they share similar features they have differences. Many times the only way to tell the difference is by reading labeling or manual. There may be differences in the restraint structure among other things. • Example: (prev.photo) belt path reshaped, original Frontier has 80# max with harness, Frontier 85 has 85# max with harness. Increased capacity is NOT retroactive. NEVER assume! • CPS Express May 2010
Fact or fiction • 3 car seats that touch each other can be installed side by side on the rear seat of a vehicle.
fact • It is permissible for 3 car seats to be installed side by side if ALL these conditions are met: • Each position must be an acceptable seating position for that type of car seat. • Each car seat must be securely installed using LATCH or seat belt. Must be able to check secure installation.
Fact (cont) • Adjacent car seat components should NOT touch the release buttons for the seat belt or Lower anchors. • Touching side by side car seats are OK as long as the car seats are not trying to occupy the same space. Seats should not be forced together or overlap. • CPS Express March 2010
Fact or fiction • At one year and 20# it is wrong for caregivers to place a child forward facing.
fiction • It is not wrong for caregivers to place their child forward facing if their child is at least age one and a least 20#. It may not be BestPractice, but it is still their choice and that decision meets the minimum standard. • What would be wrong is for a tech to use scare tactics insisting the child will not be safe. Only to have the caregiver agree to RF and turn CRS FF at home causing misuse. • Our job is to educate with all the available safety information, caregivers must make the tough choice. • CPS Express May 2010
Fact or fiction • It is not possible to over tighten a top tether strap.
fiction • You can over-tighten a tether. The tether should be as snug as possible without excessive force being applied.
Fact or fiction • Sensors for advanced air bags (AAB) for the front passenger seat may be affected by weight or pressure on the back of the passenger front seat from a RF car seat or a FF child pushing his/her feet against the back of the seat.
fact • If something from the rear seat pushes on the back of the front passenger seat, the pressure may turn the AAB on when it should be off or off when it should be on. This would be a problem if a passenger is in the front seat. • Not a concern on the drivers side as that seat does not have the same sensor system. • Some veh. manuals do caution about not letting RF CR’s press against back of front seat, few advise how much pressure is too much. Read the manuals! • CPS Express April 2010
Fact or fiction • Tether anchor weight limits are confusing listing 40 or 48 pounds
fact • Some manuf. publish weight max of 40 or 48 pounds but many others provide none or indicate following CR instructions. • More & more conventional high weight harness CRs are available and the use of a top tether enhances the performance of the CR. • Make sure to educate the caregiver on benefits of top tethering! • www.cpsboard.org/techupdate.htm
Fact (cont) • As stated in the 2009 (hot pink) LATCH manual page 63 “the likelihood of a tether failing completely when anchoring a HWH-CR occupied by a child weighing more than 40# is considered highly unlikely. If the anchor, tether hook, strap or connection to the CR were to fail, it would do so late in the crash sequence. It already would have restricted forward motion of the top of the CR significantly while still attached….”