An improved restraint system for new child safety seats has been made mandatory in American cars since last week (Sept 1, 2002). The restraints, a top tether and a lower set of attachments, operate independently of the vehicle seat belt and adapt to recent government-mandated safety changes to the main body of cars.

In Sept. 2000, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began requiring all cars to carry a top tether anchor and at least two lower anchors in the rear seating positions. Used properly, the system is expected to save up to 50 lives a year in the US and prevent close to 3,000 injuries.

By Philip Fine