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					  Child Passenger Safety TECH REPORT
Universal Anchor Standard for Child Restraints Issued
      The U.S. is the first country to adopt       use of a tether. The new head excursion          installation in older vehicles that do not
a requirement for universal, uniform an-           limit is the same as that required under the     have universal anchors. The belt path also
chor systems for child restraints, after eight     current Canadian rule. In addition, CRs          is needed for installation in aircraft.
years of development at the international          would have to meet the current head ex-          Where will universal anchors be
level and in this country. The new stan-           cursion limit without the tether attached.       installed?
dard was published in early March, 1999.           This will assure a minimum level of pro-               Vehicles will be required to have com-
It includes FMVSS 225, Child Restraint             tection if the tether is not used. Tether re-    plete universal anchorages in two seating
Anchorage Systems (which focuses on                quirements do not extend to CRs used in          positions. Most passenger vehicles are
vehicle requirements), and amendments to           the rear-facing position.                        likely to have them located in the second
FMVSS 213, Child Restraint Systems. The                                                             row-outboard positions because of the dif-
first effects of this change will be seen start-                                                    ficulty of fitting two adjacent universal
ing September 1999.                                                                                 anchorages (in a side and center position).
      The universal anchor rule will provide                                                           • Vehicles with at least three rear seat-
devices independent of safety belts to at-                                                                ing positions must have an additional
tach child restraints (CRs) to the vehicle.                                                               center seating position with a tether
It will allow child restraints to be anchored                                                             anchor to improve installation in the
more securely than is often possible with                                                                 position favored by many parents.
current safety belts. Having separate CR                                                               • In vehicles with three or more rows
anchors will allow safety belts to be de-                                                                 of seats, there must be at least one uni-
signed for the large child and adult with-               Universal anchor with tether and
                                                         strap/hook attachment on restraint
                                                                                                          versal anchorage in the second row.
out the necessity of also serving as effec-                                                                     • Vehicles without a rear seat
tive anchors for CRs.                                                                                           will have a universal anchor sys-
      The new anchor system consists of                 As of the same date,                                    tem for each front passenger po-
three points of attachment (see pictures):         most new passenger cars                                      sition.
   • Two small bars (lower anchors or              (those for the 2000                                                     • Convertibles and
      LAs) behind the seat bight (intersec-        model year) will have                                                   large school buses are
      tion of upper and lower cushions) to         user-ready, factory-in-                                                 exempt from the
      which two special hooks on the lower         stalled tether anchors                                                  tether requirements
      frame of the child restraint are at-         (TAs). Light trucks, in-                                                due to the impracti-
      tached. The hooks may be on straps           cluding vans and sport                                                  calities of installing
      attached to the restraint or part of the     utility vehicles, also            Universal anchor with tether and      them. Small school
      CR frame itself.                             must provide tether an-           rigid latch on restraint              buses (under 10,000
   • One tether anchor (TA) behind the             chors by September 2000.                                                lbs) that now are re-
      seating position to which a tether strap     Lower anchors to have longer phase- quired to have lap belts will be required to
      from the top of the child restraint is       in period                                        have two universal anchors installed.
      hooked.                                           The phase-in period for the child re- What will tether anchor brackets
      The universal anchors will be required       straint lower anchors (LAs) will begin in look like?
in only a limited number of seating posi-          the model year 2001 (September 1, 2000)
tions in a vehicle. It is being called UCSSS                                                              They will not necessarily look like the
                                                   and continue for two years. At the end of anchor bracket used for the add-on an-
(universal child safety seat system).              that phase-in period, September 1, 2002, chors. Some are expected to be short
      The tether anchor system will be re-         all new vehicles will have such anchors in straight or U-shaped bars and many will
quired this fall, with lower anchors being         at least two seating positions (if they have be hidden under covers. If under a cover,
phased in over several years. This is be-          a rear seat). Vehicles with only a front seat the cover may be marked a logo, which is
cause more change will be required to ac-          will have LAs and TAs in passenger seats required for Canadian vehicles. They must
complish the latter.                               if they have an air bag shut-off switch.         be readily accessible with either a screw-
Tethers to appear this year                             Child restraints manufactured on or driver or a coin.
     Starting September 1, 1999, all for-          after September 1, 2002 will be required
ward-facing child restraints sold in the U.S.      to have LA attachment devices. By that Editor’s Note: If you’d like to see the fu-
will be required to meet a stricter test for       date, there will have been two model years ture today, visit a Volkswagen dealership.
head excursion, 3-1/2 inches less than the         of vehicles equipped with lower anchors, VW has taken an early lead by providing
current standard. Most, if not all manu-           which will facilitate the transition. CRs LAs in the 1998-99 Golf and universal
facturers are expected to meet through the         also will continue to have belt paths for anchors in the new ‘99 Beetle.

                                                                                                                    Safe Ride News, Spring 1999 3
                                         Child Passenger Safety TECH REPORT
                                                                                                  New Vehicle Safety
Ask the Industry Experts                         s Rear-facing limits: Cosco has added
                                                 “rear-facing to one year of age” to its in-      Features for Kids
     This Lifesavers 17 session included                                                               New technology is being introduced
                                                 structions. However, Century combination
child restraint experts from the major U.S.                                                       into the fleet rapidly but unevenly. Back
                                                 toddler/booster seats still use a minimum
auto companies and child restraint manu-                                                          seat features are installed voluntarily by ve-
                                                 weight and developmental criteria (“can sit
facturers. Here are some of the questions                                                         hicle manufacturers. New features tend to
                                                 up alone”) rather than an age criterion.
posed to them and their answers:                                                                  be introduced first in the more expensive
                                                 Note: in Canada the rear-facing maximum
s Can belt webbing be twisted to                 is still 20 pounds. This is expected to be       vehicles.
shorten the non-adjustable end? Indi-            changed, but it will take at least a year.            Features in the back seats of 1999 ve-
ana Mills has tested twisted belts dynami-                                                        hicles that can improve children’s safety
                                                 s Cinching latchplates that slip: A rep-
cally, after soaking them in apple juice and                                                      include:
                                                 resentative of DiamlerChrysler stated that
cola. While the belt webbing lost some                                                              • Adjustable upper shoulder belt an-
                                                 the cinching latchplate is designed to meet
strength (after 2 twists, 11% degradation                                                              chorages
                                                 the federal lockability standard. If it slips,
of strength; after 6 twists, 40%), the over-                                                        • Rear seat head restraints, standard in
                                                 a locking clip can be added. The problem
all effect was not enough to affect child                                                              almost all sport utilities and in most
                                                 with heavier, bulkier, and more slip-proof
restraint use. Safety belts are built to with-                                                         vans and heavy passenger cars
                                                 locking latchplates is that they keep the belt
stand at least 6000 lb. force. A CR would                                                           • Center rear lap/shoulder belts, most
                                                 from retracting when unlatched, so the belt
normally put about 2000 lb. of force on                                                                common in larger passenger cars (al-
                                                 tends to get caught in the door.
the belt, equalling 1000 lb. on each lap belt                                                          though by no means universal) but
anchor. Despite this, some manufactur-           s Non-skid mats: Can a mat be added                   rare in sport utility vehicles
ers recommend no more than two twists.           under a CR to keep it in place on a slip-          • Built-in child restraints, optional in a
                                                 pery vinyl or leather seat cushion? A thick           number of vans and in a few passen-
s Can center-rear shoulder belts be
                                                 mat should not be added and no mat will               ger cars, none in sport utilities
retrofitted? The center-rear shoulder belt
                                                 keep the seat in place in a crash. How-            • Air bag shut-off switches are now
anchorage must be designed into the ve-
                                                 ever, adding a thin mat, especially under a           standard in light trucks and cars that
hicle. There is no way to add a shoulder
                                                 belt-positioning booster that has a wide,             have no back seat
belt in the center of most current models.
                                                 flat base, is acceptable.                          • Devices to open rear trunk latchs from
s Shoulder belt retrofit kits: Model-
                                                                                                       the inside are beginning to appear in
specific kits, such as those from Ford, usu-                   Tech Tips                               sedans
ally have tear-stitching or other means of
                                                 Graco Quest                                           NHTSA has produced two pamphlets
preventing submarining that can occur if
                                                 What is the new Graco “Quest”? It is a           that list the features of various new car
the shoulder belt is too snug. If an after-
                                                 combination toddler-booster seat, the same       models. To obtain copies of “New Car
market shoulder belt has been installed, the
                                                 as the Century Breverra Contour. Graco           Safety Features” and “Buying a Safer Car
user should adjust it with a little slack in
                                                 now owns Century Products.                       for Child Passengers,” contact the Auto
the shoulder belt. A fist-width of slack is
                                                 Replacement Rear Buckle for Some                 Safety Hotline (888-DASH-2-DOT) or
sufficient. (Ford and Chrysler shoulder
                                                 GM Vehicles                                      your local AAA office.
belt kits are posted on the website:
                                                      Some customers have found excessive              For information on used as well as
www.childsafety.org.)
                                                 side-to-side movement when using some            new vehicles, Safe Ride News subscribers
s Dealer installation of retrofit shoul-                                                          can order the reproducible Fact Sheet,
der belt kits or tether kits: The dealers        child restraints in the second- and third-
                                                 row bucket seats of the following 1997-99        “Choosing a Vehicle for Family Safety,”
are indemnified by the manufacturers for                                                          from SRN. Contact Jane at 206/364-5696
the kits made specifically for the vehicles      vehicles:
                                                   • Chevrolet Venture                            or send your fax number to
they carry. If the dealer personnel install                                                       saferide@twbc.com for an order form.
them according to directions, they would           • Oldsmobile Silhouette
not be liable for damages.                         • Pontiac Trans Sport
                                                      General Motors will provide a replace-
s How critical is the upper weight               ment rear seat belt buckle, part number
limit on belt-positioning boosters?              12516351. From General Motors Service
                                                                                                          Terminology Note
Height is the most critical factor, but                                                           A “child restraint” is a device that holds a
                                                 Bulletin No. 83-16-07, October 1998.
weight must be considered.                                                                        child in place in the vehicle. A “booster
                                                 Obtaining GM Tether Kits                         seat” is not technically a child restraint, be-
s Infant foot space: Some CR manu-
                                                      If consumers have trouble obtaining         cause it merely positions the child. The
facturers are relaxing their prohibition on
                                                 tether kits from GM dealers or consumer          safety belt provides the restraint.
infants’ feet touching the vehicle seatback
                                                 information services, they can contact Ken
since no problem has been found.
                                                 Stack, GM Safety Office, at 810/947-1766.


4 Safe Ride News, Spring 1999
  Child Passenger Safety TECH REPORT
Side-impact Air Bags
                                                children also ride unrestrained. Side air          spokesperson said the design was exten-
and Children                                    bags in rear seats pose a potential for in-        sively tested, including out-of-position oc-
     Side-impact air bags are an increas-       jury to children riding there, particularly        cupants and child dummies, but empha-
ingly common new-vehicle front-seat             if unrestrained or out of position. Even           sized that the company still recommends
safety feature or option. They are usually      children using lap/shoulder belts and              to always put youngsters in the back seat.
located in the door, door frame, or seat.       booster seats may lean against the door and             Toyota provides seat-mounted side air
Some are designed to protect the chest and      be at risk. The definition of “properly re-        bags as standard front-seat equipment on
others, the head. Side air bags are not regu-   strained” must include sitting upright, not        the Avalon, all Lexus sedans, and the RX
lated federally now. Luxury vehicles are        against the door.                                  300 sport utility, and as an option on many
most likely to have them. A few manufac-             The GM side air bag system in the             others. “We specifically don’t offer side
turers, including Audi, BMW, and                front seat of its Chevy Venture passenger          air bags in rear seats because we want to
Mercedes, also offer them for rear seat pas-    van senses when something is blocking the          maintain the rear seat as safest place for
sengers. Subaru and Chrysler are among          air bag’s path and deploys with reduced            children, and air bags might compromise
those who are not offering side air bags at     force. The bags also are standard on GM’s          that,” said a Toyota spokesperson.
this time.                                      Oldsmobile and Pontiac minivans, as well           Does a vehicle have a side air bag?
Crash Information                               as Cadillac Seville and Deville models, and             Finding out whether and where a ve-
      Side impacts accounted for 31% of         an option on the Chevrolet Prizm.                  hicle has side air bags can be a challenge.
passenger vehicle deaths in 1997, accord-            Honda’s advanced side air bag system,         The most common locations are just above
ing to IIHS Fatality Facts. Deaths were         standard equipment on its 3.5RL Acuras,            the armrests in the front door panels, along
evenly divided between the driver and pas-      senses the weight, size, and position of a         the side of the seat back, or at the base of
senger sides.                                   person in the front passenger seat. It can         the seat near the seat adjustment levers.
      NHTSA has an ongoing crash inves-         be deactivated if someone is leaning               Sometimes there is even a compartment
tigation study of known side air bag de-        against the door, for instance.                    above the window, along the roofline. The
ployments.* In the 27 cases investigated             BMW and Mercedes both have side-              compartments are usually stamped or la-
by April 1999, no serious injuries or fa-       impact air bags that are mounted in the            beled “SRS airbag,” but not in a contrast-
talities have been attributed to the deploy-    door panels. Mercedes also has introduced          ing color. There may also be a notice on
ment of the side air bag. In two cases in-      additional side protection with its window-        the side of the door jamb. Toyota, for one,
volving children, age 3 and 13, both were       bag, which deploys along the side windows          places stickers the side window as well.
unrestrained and both sustained minor in-       like a curtain to provide head protection          The owner’s manual is a useful reference.
juries due to the air bag cover flap. The       for both front and back-seat passengers.
younger child was in the front seat.                                                               The bottom line
      Other conclusions by NHTSA are that                                                                More research and crash data are
the side air bags have substantially reduced                                                       needed. NHTSA has urged automakers to
head injury. The deaths that have occurred                                                         test side air bags with child-size (and adult)
were due to intrusion of the striking ve-                                                          crash dummies in various positions,. The
hicle into the passenger compartment.                                                              agency also is asking emergency assistance
                                                                                                   personnel to notify it when side air bags
How do side air bags affect child                                                                  have deployed in a crash. Meanwhile, the
safety?                                                                                            increasing variety of air bag designs and
     At this point, correctly restrained                                                           locations makes it more important than
child passengers, properly positioned in the       Ford Taurus combination side air bag in the     ever to keep all children of all ages prop-
vehicle, do not seem to be at risk of injury       front seat cushions torso and head (illustra-
                                                   tion courtesy of Ford)
                                                                                                   erly positioned within the car, as well as
from them. However, some manufactur-                                                               properly restrained.
ers think that a child who is unrestrained,
                                                     Side air bags for front passengers are
or out of position could be injured. Some                                                          —Gisela Moriarty
                                                standard on Lincoln vehicles, and offered
have produced “smart” side air bags that
                                                by Ford on quite a few of its other models,
sense an occupant that is too close.                                                               Contacts:
                                                including the 2000 Taurus (illustration).
     While parents are advised to transport                                                        IIHS, 703/247-1500, www.highwaysafety.org.
                                                Ford uses a combination air bag. It de-            NHTSA 1-800/DASH-2-DOT, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
children in the back seat, manufacturers
                                                ploys out of the side of the seat toward the
must take into consideration that some                                                             Emergency Rescue Personnel: To notify
                                                door, parallel along the side of the seat, and
children still ride in the front seat. Some                                                        NHTSA of a side air bag crash, call: Special
                                                then the two-sectioned cushion inflates to
                                                protect both the head and chest. A Ford            Crash Investigation Hotline, 202/493-0400, or
* Data from presentation by A. Chidester                                                           fax to 202/366-5374, or e-mail,
of NHTSA, April 19, 1999.                                                                          airbag.crash@nhtsa.dot.gov.


                                                                                                                  Safe Ride News, Spring 1999 5
                                        Child Passenger Safety TECH REPORT
                                                     Several committees were formed, in-        In summary, the re-certification process for
Certification Notes                             cluding By-laws, Certification, Curricu-
                                                lum, Re-certification, and Communica-
                                                                                                1999 will be:
                                                                                                  1. Review the printed literature included
National CPS Board Organized                    tions. A task force to monitor training qual-        in the re-certification package.
     The national board for the child pas-      ity.                                              2. Complete the hands-on documenta-
senger safety training and certification pro-        The Certification Committee,                    tion.
gram held its first meeting March 8-9,          headed by Lorrie Walker, plans to modify,         3. Complete a new agreement form.
1999. The purpose of the board is to pro-       create, or improve the forms and the pro-         4. Successfully complete and return the
vide overall technical, policy, and program     cess used in certification.                          written test.
direction and to maintain the national cur-          The Curriculum Committee, headed             5. Send in the requested materials and
riculum, test, and standards for implemen-      by Nancy Lang, met in April to begin re-             $10.00 fee to AAA.
tation.                                         vising and updating the curriculum. It is       TECH Report Available Online
Members of the board                            slated to be completed during the summer.            The four-page technical report in Safe
Chair: Steve Anderson, USAA                          The Re-certification Committee, un-        Ride News, starting in the Winter 1998-99
Mariela Alarcon, National Council of La         der Bill Wen, has developed an interim pro-     issue, is also available on the NHTSA web
     Raza                                       cess and will have a formal process in place    site. This material is paid for by NHTSA
Barbara Foley, Emergency Nurses Assn.           by January 2000.                                and is also to be distributed to all techni-
Carole S. Guzzetta, National Safety Co.              The Communications Committee,              cians and instructors who are not subscrib-
William Hall, University of North Caro-         chaired by Carole Guzzetta, has begun a         ers to SRN. Find the list at:
     lina Highway Safety Research Ctr.          process of improving communications             http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/
Lisa Hershey, California Dept. of Health        among the various stakeholders.                 childps.
     Services                                        To communicate with the board, con-
Randy Kiser, Evenflo                            tact the coordinator, Carole Guzzetta of
                                                NSC, at 202-296-6263 or (e-mail)
                                                                                                States Designate CPS
Kathy Kruger, Safety Restraint Coalition
Nancy Lang, Safety Consultant                   guzzetc@nsc.org.                                Training Coordinators
Laura Ludwig, Nat. Assn. of Governors’          Communicating with AAA                                Each state has selected a person to be
     Highway Safety Representatives                 Bill Wen is the manager of Training         the coordinator of CPS training. Please
Lori Miller, NHTSA                              and Professional Development at AAA,            contact the person listed below in your state
Mark Miller, US Public Health Service           which administers the certification process,    for information about training and child
Allison Rand, American Academy of Pe-           The address is: AAA, Traffic Safety De-         passenger safety networking activities.
     diatrics                                   partment - Mail Stop 76, 1000 AAA Drive,        Also, please inform them of your activi-
Robert Rowe, Internat’l Assoc. of Chiefs        Heathrow, FL 32746-5063. Bill can be            ties in child passenger safety. Find the list
     of Police                                  reached at: 407/444-7960 or via e-mail:         at: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/
Camilla Taft, National SAFE KIDS Cam-           wwen@national.aaa.com                           childps/training.
     paign                                          Jennifer Huebner handles the logistics
Lorrie Walker, American Academy of Pe-          and paperwork for the certification pro-            Baby Saved in 80-mph Crash
     diatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter             gram at AAA. You can contact her at 407/              A 5-month old baby in Michigan
William Wen, Am. Automobile Assn.               444-7912 or jhuebner@national.aaa.com.           was saved by her car seat in a very
Vehicle Manufacturer (to be decided)
                                                Interim Re-certification Plan                    severe frontal crash. The father fell
     Some members were selected because
                                                     The 1999 plan includes a packet of          asleep at the wheel and drove off the
of their roles as seasoned trainers. Others
                                                updated information sent to each techni-         freeway, reportedly at nearly 80 mph.
have experience in public health, the func-
                                                cian or instructor, documentation during         The vehicle hit a large tree. The father
tioning of certification programs, or are
                                                the year of hands-on checks of all types of      was killed instantly.
representing groups of major stakeholders
                                                child restraints signed off by an instructor,         Mom and baby were in the back
in the process. The board will be coordi-
                                                and satisfactory completion of a take-home       seat. Mom was sleeping ( slouching)
nated through the National Safety Council
                                                written test.                                    in her lap/shoulder belt. She survived
(NSC), with Carole Guzzetta of NSC as
                                                     In addition to meeting the require-         with serious abdominal injuries. The
coordinator and board secretary.
                                                ments for technician re-certification, tech-     baby, riding rear-facing in an infant re-
     Steve Anderson of USAA was elected
                                                nician-instructors would also have to re-        straint (buckled in without its base) was
chairperson. At the Lifesavers conference
                                                view instructional techniques, provide           virtually uninjured. The latchplate of
in March, Anderson emphasized that the
                                                class rosters and associated materials for       the car seat buckle was bent so severely
recertification effort must maintain stan-
                                                all classes taught, and provide class agen-      that it was hard to get the baby out.
dards and be documentable, cost effective,
                                                das with instructor assignments indicated.       From CPS E-mail List message, 5/13/99
and convenient.


6 Safe Ride News, Spring 1999

				
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