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Tips about Child Restraint
Defining the New LATCH
System Ė Part II
and Doníts Regarding LATCH and Tethers:
Check your vehicle and carseat owner's
manuals for information about LATCH and Tethers.
In some models, it is even important that you attach the hook to the
anchor in a particular way.
You should always use a top-tether if one is
available. The top tether improves safety when you install a
carseat with a seatbelt or with the new lower anchors.
Rear-facing child seats should not use a tether
unless it is specifically approved in the carseat instruction
It is almost always required that you use the
top-tether when you are using the lower LATCH anchors with a
forward-facing carseat, unless the manual for your carseat
specifically states it is not needed.
The lower LATCH anchors cannot be used to attach a
top-tether, and vice-versa.
Lower LATCH anchors and top-tether anchors are
limited to one carseat each. You must not attach two seats to
the same anchor. (Note: A few new vehicles, particularly
extended cab pickups, do allow more than one tether hooked to an
anchor, but this is ONLY allowed if stated in the owner's
manual for the vehicle under certain conditions)
Even though it is possible, it is not recommended
that you install a LATCH carseat in the center of a rear seat by
using the "inner" lower anchors intended for outboard
positions. This recommendation may change, but current best
practice is to avoid this unless it is specifically permitted by
your vehicle or carseat manual.
Typically, it is still recommended that you install
a carseat in the middle position if possible. A center
installation using seatbelts is preferred over an outboard
installation using LATCH, provided that it fits well and that there
are no other restrictions in the owner's manuals.
Seatbelt systems should not be used as top-tether
anchors, unless this is specifically mentioned in the vehicle
owner's manual and carseat instruction manual.
is OK for a forward-facing tether anchor to be offset from the
center of the carseat. It is recommended, however, that the
angle be no greater than 20 degrees from center. You may use a
manufacturer's pre-installed tether location even if it is over 20
degrees offset from center, provided it is the anchor that is
recommended for the position where your carseat is installed.
straps should generally be as tight as possible, and can even
compress the seat fabric. It does not have to be so tight that
it causes damage to fabric or seat cushions.
your tether or LATCH straps are not in use, stow them away securely.
you are using LATCH, the seat belt system is not needed. Leave
the seatbelt unused.
NOT use LATCH or tether straps made for one brand/model on a
different brand/model. They may appear to work fine and look
similar, but this will certainly be untested. There may also
be incompatibilities which are not apparent that may cause loosening
over time or failure due to improper distribution of forces in a
is no standard for using LATCH or top tethers with combination seats
that are being used as a belt-positioning booster. Some
manufacturers may allow this, though most do not. When in
doubt on any aspect of tether or LATCH usage, ALWAYS consult the
owner's manual of your vehicle and carseat as the best resource.
new harnessed carseats with LATCH are rated above 40 pounds.
It is recommended that you contact your vehicle and carseat
manufacturer to determine their policy on top tether and lower
anchor use above 40 pounds. This information may be in the
owner's manual on some models.
Issues for Cars & Drivers
Tips About Child Restraints-Part 3 -final chapter of the
car seat series.
of Steering Due to a Blowout -learn these important tips
for dealing with a sudden blowout.
Driving on Flooded Roads -it's been raining for hours and
you have to drive. Read on...
Must-Know Tips for Driving on Snow and Ice -yes that snow
looks pretty out the window, but what about driving on it?
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