You may be surprised to learn that up until now, federal standards for car seats only looked at how well the seas protect children during a head-on-collision.  Not from the side.  But new propose guidelines seek to address that glaring oversight.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced yesterday that it had proposed a new regulation that would require child car seats to withstand side-impact collisions of up to 30 miles an hour.  Under the proposal, car seat manufacturers would have up to three years to make adjustments to their products in order to meet the new requirements. Current car seats would then become outdated and would no longer meet car seat safety standards.  

So what exactly does the new regulation entail?  Car seats would have to pass safety tests designed to ensure that they could protect children weighing up to 40 pounds from head trauma and other injuries in highway accidents with impacts from both the front (head-on collision) and the side (the so-called "T-Bone" crash.)  Car seats will be required to protect a child from a vehicle’s door crushing in, as well as the overall impact of the crash. Two child "dummies" will be used for the test - one that replicates a 12-month-old child and another representing a 3-year-old.

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