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A new five star US government rating system will grade child safety seats on how easy they are to install properly, and will help to guide parents and care givers in choosing the right car seat to keep their children safe, US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced in January. Under the new five star ratings, expanded criteria are being used to evaluate child safety seats. The seats are awarded an overall star rating, as well as individual star ratings in four categories: securing the child, vehicle installation features, labeling, and instructions. Five stars represent the highest rating, and one star signifies the lowest rating. The new rating system does not measure how effective a child seat is in protecting a child in the event of a crash, but rather compares how easy one seat is to use over another. A complete list of the new rankings is available at


Although European consumer organizations, BEUC and ANEC, welcomed the European Commission’s aim to revise the Toy Safety Directive in January, they criticized the proposals, noting that they did not go far enough. They identified deficiencies associated with the limited prohibition of substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic, the fact that the list of allergens to be prohibited in toys is not exhaustive, the absence of the precautionary principle as a basic principle of the directive, and that more flexibility has not been foreseen to make it possible to adapt the directive quickly to emerging risks. They also emphasized again their concerns about CE marking, which consumers wrongly believe to be a safety label.


The National Study Center for Trauma and EMS of the University of Maryland School of Medicine is seeking postdoctoral research fellows for a 2-year National Institutes of Health-funded training program working with an expanded interdisciplinary …

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