Safe Kids

New Child Restraint Labeling per FMVSS 213


An excerpt from the April 2014 CPS Express (Safe Kids)

New Child Restraint Labeling 

The FMVSS 213 Amendment went in to effect February 27. The amendment requires child restraint manufacturers to change their labeling to help parents know when it is the right time to stop using the lower attachments and switch to seat belts to secure harnessed CRs. A combination of the child’s weight and the child restraint’s weight cannot exceed 65 lbs. to use lower anchors. The purpose of the new label is to reduce consumer confusion about using lower anchor attachments to ensure that forces generated by the child and car seat in most crash conditions do not exceed the lower anchor design limits. The new rule does not address a limit on the child weight for the use of the tether. Technicians will continue to recommend use of the tether according to the vehicle and child restraint manufacturer instructions. You do not have to weigh any child restraints! 

Benefits of New Labeling

  • Consumers will have convenient, clear and consistent access to facts about the child weight limit for lower anchor use.
  • CR label would be more effective than putting it in the vehicle manual alone which caregivers consult only 14% of the time for information about installing CRs.
  • Reduces the possibility of field failure of lower anchorages. Although there have been no reported anchorage failures, the risk of anchorage failure exits. Each year caregivers are encouraged to keep heavier children harnessed longer by NHTSA and other advocacy groups and more seats are being manufactured with higher weight limits. 

Will every child restraint have a label?

  • Labeling is not required on rear facing only child restraints or belt positioning boosters.

What else is covered in the amendment?

  • The amendment expands coverage to CRs for children up to 80 lbs.
  • The "10-year-old child" dummy is the latest addition to the agency's family of test dummies and is the best tool currently available for measuring the risk of injury to a child using a higher-weight child restraint system in the event of a vehicle crash. 

Child restraint manufacturers are not required to perform CR testing with lower anchors for CRs with the new dummy (10 yr. old) with any child restraints serving kids over 65 lbs. They will use the lap and shoulder belt to secure the child restraint. 

Compliance Dates

Child restraints manufactured on or after February 27, 2014 until February 26, 2015, may comply with a label specified in the February 27, 2012 final rule or as amended by Feb. 27, 2014 final rule.  CRs manufactured on or after February 27, 2015 must meet the amended Feb. 27, 2014 final rule. Labeling required on or after Feb. 27, 2015 will have an installation Diagram showing the CR installed in a seating position equipped with lower anchors with a statement about child weight. 

What does this mean to the curbside technician?

  • Don’t weigh the car seat
  • Read the labels, read the instructions
  • Advise the caregiver when to switch from the lower attachments to the seat belt

The document is published in the Federal Register and available online.

Submitted by Kim Herrmann, Safe Kids Worldwide (Ft. Myers, FL)