Buckling Up Baby

Go to any shopping mall and you'll see the one great flaw of child restraint seats. It is how they are attached to the car.

And they're nearly always put in wrong.

"About 75 per cent of the parents don't take the time out to put the seat in properly. Some of them are not educated on the proper way of putting a seat in," said one Florida trooper.

That's why Florida troopers run "Kiddy Seat Checkpoints."

They give installation lessons, and, if needed, new car seats.

The basic problem is that there are dozens of different child seats with no single standard for mounting them in the car. The result is frustration.

Concerned that children are being killed when the seats come loose, the federal highway safety administration, is preparing to issue rules that will require new cars to have a universal mounting system and that one day will mean all sits fit all cars reports CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg.

A representative of the National Safety Council said, "We expect this to become a world standard and for cars all over the world to be produced to allow for the safe transportation of children."

The new kiddy seats, available in two years, work independently of the car's seatbelts. In one version, they'll slide into a pair of metal sleeves attached permanently to the car.

They're already sold in Germany, where Volkswagen is promoting their use.

In the mean time, regulators don't look for any complaints about the new "Simple Kiddy Seat" regulations from parents who have grown weary of fumbling.

Reported by Eric Engberg
©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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