Easy-To-Use Electric Lower Anchor Tether Winch for Child Car Seats

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43CE001180-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: CE001180
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 621641237
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (612) 803-6998
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Email: sara.seifert@yahoo.com
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Child restraints provide increased protection for children in motor vehicles and have been observed to reduce death and injury ra tes by more than 50%. A child must be properly belted into a properly installed child restraint to achieve maximum protection. Several large studies have observed that only 10% to 20% of children are correctly harnessed into correctly installed seats. One of the most common errors involves the installation of the child seat in the vehicle. In most vehicles manufactured prior to 2002, a child seat is attached using the vehicle safety belts. In vehicles newer than 2002, a child seat may be attached using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system. LATCH is designed to make installation of child safety seats easier by providing two lower anchors at the seat bight (the intersection of the seat back and cushion) onto which a rigid or flexible st rap from a child seat is attached. Regardless of attachment modality, the seatbelt or flexible LATCH tether must be aggressively tensioned (greater than 30 lbs. typically) to achieve proper installation. Recent studies have observed from 50% to 100% of ins pected child restraints held in place by safety belts were too loose. Problems with loose tethers persist in the new LATCH system, and several sources list under-tensioned belts and tethers as the most common error in child seat installations. Loose child seat tethers increase the likelihood of movement of the child's head during collisions, increasing the likelihood of head impact and other traumas. The objective of this project is to develop an inexpensive power-retractable flexible lower anchor child sea t tether. This powered tether will reduce the physical strength and agility required to properly install a child seat. We hypothesize that a powered tether will increased proper child seat installation rates, thereby reducing motor vehicle crash injuries a nd deaths among children. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The available market for the proposed powered tether exceeds 5 million devices annually. There are approximately 20 million children under 4 years of age in the United States. All are required by law to ride in car seats.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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