Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Field use patterns and performance of child restraints secured by lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH).

TitleField use patterns and performance of child restraints secured by lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsArbogast KB, Jermakian J S
JournalAccid Anal Prev
Date Published2007 May
KeywordsAccidents, Traffic, Automobiles, Child, Equipment Design, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant Equipment, Interviews as Topic, Male, Prospective Studies, Protective Devices, Restraint, Physical, Seat Belts, Wounds and Injuries

A revised attachment system for child restraint systems (CRS), Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), was introduced to address issues of misuse of attachment of the CRS to the vehicle. This study provides the first real-world experience of this new restraint system. Relevant cases were selected from the partners for child passenger safety (PCPS) child-specific crash surveillance system based in the United States. Vehicles qualifying for the PCPS study were those model year 1990 or newer involved in a crash with at least one passenger <or=15 years of age. A subset of seven cases in which LATCH lower anchors were used was chosen for in-depth crash investigation and interview. Review of these data found misuse remained a frequent occurrence (5/7 cases). The presence of a loose harness in several cases demonstrated that the focus of LATCH on the attachment of the CRS to the vehicle did not remove one of the most common CRS misuses. Further, significant injuries still do occur although LATCH lower anchor performance was not necessarily a contributing factor to any of these injuries. This subset of cases demonstrates that consumers are using the LATCH technology, at times with significant misuse and that significant injury still may occur, despite use of LATCH.

Alternate JournalAccid Anal Prev
PubMed ID17270136